Previewing London's Layered Approach to the Olympics

With only four months to go until the opening ceremony, Gwen Webber checks in on the progress of London's Olympic preparations, and the wider redevelopment effort that the games have sparked.
March 26, 2012, 12pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Located on 500 acres of a former brownfield site in "the depths of East London," the vision for the 2012 Olympic Games was founded on providing an opportunity to kick-start redevelopment of one of the most disadvantaged areas of the capital.

As Webber explains, "London's is the largest regeneration project in the U.K. since the Second World War and, once the Games are over in September, it will also be the biggest new public park in Europe. To achieve these ambitions, the park's infrastructure has been developed with two layers: 'Games time' and 'Legacy-mode.'"

Webber reviews the progress of elements crucial to providing that legacy:

  • The Athletes Village, designed by a consortia of 16 architects, will provide 2,818 mixed income homes after the games
  • The main stadium (called the Lily), by Populous and Peter Cook, which has been planned to shrink from 80,000 capacity to 25,000 after the games
  • The Aquatics Center, by Zaha Hadid Architects, which has been built with a system of flexible floors and boons that will enable the pools to be divided up and their heights to be divided for future use
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Published on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 in The Architect's Newspaper
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