Dome planners add substance to style

The Millennium Dome at Greenwich is set to cost taxpayers at least pounds 750m, but what exactly will visitors get for their money? Steve Boggan reports on the first clues that began seeping out of project headquarters yesterday.

When he describes what will boggle the minds of those venturing into the New Millennium Experience, Stephen Bayley has an unfortunate habit of using nebulous expressions like "volumetrically bold".

The creative director of the project also likes to parry interviewers' questions by telling them he can't go into detail because it will be so astonishingly mind-blowing that he simply does not have the words to describe it. At least, that is how his style came across yesterday during a lengthy interview on BBC Radio Five Live which ended with the presenter saying: "And after all that, if anyone has any idea what's going to be in the Dome, answers please on a postcard."

In truth, following an article in the Sunday Telegraph and further interviews throughout the day, a clearer picture of the exhibition did begin to emerge. The theme will be Time with heavy emphasis on the future.

It will include "a journey through time and space", designed by the artist David Hockney, and may also involve work by Damien Hirst. There will be a 30ft diameter steel ball interacting with a huge magnet and there is talk of reams of high-tech gadgets and gizmos. There will be open spaces for theatre - perhaps including a 10,000-seater auditorium at its core. Around the circumference will be a pathway or road taking the visitor through themed sections, although whether these were time- or idea-related is still not clear.

"If you look at it like looking down on a cake, at the moment it will be more or less divided up into perhaps nine, perhaps 11, perhaps 12 zones each of which looks at a specific subject, with other areas left aside for essential service functions and for cafeterias, bars and open space for theatrical-type performances," said Mr Bayley on BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend.

"The big creative challenge of the Millennium Dome ... is this - in 1851, Britain created the Great Exhibition of the industry of all nations and that was an event of world historical importance. It provided a great building - the Crystal Palace."

That exhibition, he said, was about objects. The Millennium Experience "is going to be, essentially, about ideas".

"The big creative challenge is to find exciting, stimulating, relevant, entertaining, informative ways of articulating ideas which are going to influence our future".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Sales Executive - Contract Hire

£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...

Recruitment Genius: Project Coordinator

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Area Sales Manager - Midlands

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - 3-4 Month Fixed Contract - £30-£35k pro rata

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a 3-4 month pro rata fi...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games