By Mike Rowbottom at the London Media Centre in Westminster

Lond-n Olympic_Stadium_general_view_July_20_July 20 - The project architect for the London Olympic stadium at a media briefing on the Olympic venues said here today that he hoped its design would mark a new era in sporting events – and added that he never seriously feared it would be torn down, despite Tottenham Hotspur's former plans to totally redevelop the site.

Philip Johnson, a principal at the architectural firm Populous who is also the design team leader for the transformation of the Stadium to suit its post-Games legacy use, told insidethegames: "We've produced one of the lightest stadiums ever built – a simple, de-mountable structure which has already won some awards before the Games have started.

"It's a different type of stadium which may provide a model for future stadiums.

"It may give a guide to countries who are thinking about how they can afford hosting future events.

"Normally with projects of this kind architects are concerned with permanence but for us it was different because we were looking at a stadium which, initially at any rate, needed to be capable of being reduced in size to host community athletics events.

"I came up with the term 'embrace the temporary'.

"I honestly think the days of the 'white elephant' stadium are in the past.

"We have had to look at delivering something new."

Finishing touches_at_the_London_Olympic_Stadium_July_20_Construction workers make finishing touches around the Olympic Stadium

Johnson, who was appearing on a panel alongside Dennis Hone, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), James Bulley, director of venues and infrastructure, London 2012 and Angela Brady, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, added: "Building such a flexible stadium is not a simple thing – usually flexibility can cost a huge amount of extra money.

"The trick here was to avoid the extra costs and create something that could be easily dismantled.

"The roof can be taken off without affecting the seating bowl, the seating bowl can be removed without affecting the roof.

"It's a component based solution.

"Every site is going to be different and is going to require different solutions.

"For instance, if you had tried to build Stadium Australia on that site it wouldn't have fitted.

"So it has to be site specific.

"But the approach – that certainly can transfer."

Asked how he felt about the possibility of his grand design being razed to the ground – the stated strategy for Tottenham had their initial bid for the site been successful – Johnson responded with a smile: "I do hope the building will stay.

Marlon Devonish_at_London_Olympic_Stadium_July_20Olympic gold medal sprinter Marlon Devonish on the track at the Stadium earlier this month

"I think it has already become something of a landmark for London.

"Certainly as a person involved in its design I would be disappointed if it didn't remain in some form.

"But I very much doubt that it will be bulldozed.

"I didn't see that bid, I only saw what was reported.

"But I find it difficult to believe that was something that was seriously considered.

"We have all paid our taxes, and it was a publically funded project.

"There was a poll in the Evening Standard that asked people if they would be happy to see the Olympic Stadium removed and around 90 per cent said it should stay.

"The support was overwhelming."

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