Video: London 2012 Olympic Stadium / Populous

Zaha’s Aquatics Center wins public approval

© Hufton + Crow
© Hufton + Crow

After controversy struck when critics blamed “bad design” for inconvenient ticket refunds, the success of Zaha Hadid’s design for the London Olympic’s Aquatics Center was validated by the overwhelming approval from spectators. According to a survey conducted by the University of Westminster, 95% of the Aquatics Center spectators were satisfied with their experience and 85% thought the venue captured the “true spirit” of the Olympics. Researchers from Westminster and University of South Australia surveyed spectators about their experiences at the Aquatics Centre, Greenwich Park and Wimbledon. Greenwick Park received a 92% approval and Wimbledon received 88%, while 88% of those surveyed believed the events could not have been staged in a better venue. “Our preliminary analysis suggests positive outcomes for London 2012 organisers. Those attending the events were very satisfied with their experiences and impressed with the venues,” stated Andrew Smith, city tourism lecturer at the University of Westminster. But he added, “We should remember that these results were derived from research undertaken in the positive afterglow of an event.” Where you at the 2012 London Olympics? Tell us about your experience in the comment section. via bdonline

Exhibition: "Design Stories - The Architecture behind 2012"

As the world turns its eyes to London in 2012, Design Stories examines the architecture and engineering behind the 2012 sporting venues. It provides a unique Olympic experience – a place where people can explore and view drawings, images, videos and amazingly detailed models of London’s key new sporting venues.

Video: "Chemical Brothers 'Velodrome' - London 2012 by Crystal"

The Chemical Brothers composed a song entitled “Velodrome”, for which Crystal has created a three minute animated sequence promotional video to match its heart-pounding rhythms. Played in the Velodrome before every session, the video inspired by Hopkins Architects’ design, shows the venue as never before, literally pulsating with excitement.

London 2012: Thinking Past Day 17 / Part III

Morry Gash/AP
Morry Gash/AP

Video: Olympic Architects London 2012, In Conversation With...

Olympic Park replica made from LEGOs

© Warren Elsmore
© Warren Elsmore

With a quarter million LEGO bricks and 300 hours of finger intensive labor, Warren Elsmore and his wife constructed a mini replica of the 2012 Olympic Park in London. As Gizmodo reports, the model weighs about 80kg and would cost around $300,000 to build for scratch! The miniature world is complete with Anish Kapoor’s Orbit, Zaha Hadid’s Aquatics CentreWilkinson Eyre Architects’ Basketball Arena, Hopkins Architects’ Velodrome, and Populous’ Olympic Stadium. Continue after the break for a time-lapse video and more images.

Aqua at Dover Street Market / Zaha Hadid Architects

© James Harris Photography
© James Harris Photography

Dover Street Market has commissioned Zaha Hadid to design this site-specific installation to showcase in their London store during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The concept behind “Aqua” references the formal language of Hadid’s London Aquatics Centre. Zaha Hadid: “Designing for Dover Street Market is an exciting opportunity to install a piece inspired by the fluid geometries of the London Aquatics Centre: a wave of liquid, frozen in time, right in the heart of London.” Continue after the break for more images.

London 2012: Thinking Past Day 17 / Part II

In our second segment of Thinking Past Day 17 – our series examining the larger implications of hosting the Olympic Games – we explore social issues London must address while creating the necessary infrastructure for the Summer Games. The forty-five minute proposal London presented to the International Olympic Committee in Sinagpore was filled with amazing flyovers of natural terrain depicting the most challenging obstacles, walk-throughs of state-of-the-art athletic facilities, and planning overviews of accommodations for athletes amidst a city speckled with old and new cultural offerings.  When the final votes were counted and London won the bid, it was time to turn those glossy virtual images into reality. Of course, we are accustomed to the blankness of a site transforming into the awesomeness of a dynamic rendering, but an entire city?  Where is all the available space coming from as London is the most populated municipality in the European Union with 8.17 million residents? And, more importantly, what was on the land before the Olympic transformation? More after the break.

Olympic Park and Village in Google Earth and Maps

Olympic Park and Village, Stratford, London, United Kingdom (click for larger size)
Olympic Park and Village, Stratford, London, United Kingdom (click for larger size)

Google has updated its maps with hi res images of the Olympic Park and Village in Stratford (London, UK). The images were taken this past May, and let us see the whole picture of the master plan for London 2012. A big target of the investment for the games is to  reconvert this former industrial zone in East London.

2012 Olympic Cauldron / Thomas Heatherwick

One of the “best-kept secrets” of the opening ceremony was the Thomas Heatherwick-designed 2012 Olympic cauldron that dazzled viewers world-wide last night as it was ignited by seven young British athletes in a very unique lighting ceremony.

Representing each nation competing in the London Olympics, 204 “very small humble” copper petals were carried out alongside national flags and competitors – each inscribed with the name of the country and the words “XX Olympiad London 2012”. The petals were then attached to long, stainless steel stems that formed ten rings that appeared as an open flower. Once ignited, the flames quickly spread to each petal and then gently rose up to unite as a single flame.

Continue after the break for more on the design.

Zaha Hadid denies Aquatics Centre "design flaws"

© Hufton + Crow
© Hufton + Crow

Although Olympic officials have been forced to offer ticket refunds to seats with obscured views in the London Aquatics Centre, Zaha Hadid Architects denies that this issue is a result of bad design. During last few days, critics have been accusing Zaha’s curvaceous roof as a design blunder that has blocked many of the top rows from viewing the 10m diving board – the highest diving board that will host eight events and Beijing Olympics hero Tom Daley. As reported on bdonline, a spokesman for Zaha Hadid has insisted this is the result of a ticking issue, as the ticket holders were not informed about the restricted views upon purchase. He stated, “The brief for the building from Locog was to provide 5,000 spectator seats with uninterrupted views of the 10m diving platform events.” “The centre actually provides over 8,000 seats with uninterrupted views of the 10m platform events. This is more than 3,000 additional seats than the brief required.” He further explained, “Locog approved the sightline studies and seating layouts over two years ago.” Continue after the break for more images and a revealing cross section.

London 2012: Thinking Past Day 17

In just a few hours, the world will be watching the opening ceremony of London’s third Summer Olympic Games. For 17 high intensity days, more than 10,000 athletes from over 200 countries will battle for the most prestigious awards in the athletic world.   However, what will remain hidden in the shadows during the excitement and energy of the opening ceremony will be the story behind the Games – the larger implications of hosting the world’s biggest sporting event, and its stresses at the financial, societal, and environmental level.  This story – which lasts long beyond the 17 days – remains unwritten as the after effects of hosting the London Olympics Games will not be felt for years to come. In this three-part series, we will delve into the effects of hosting the Olympic Games.  Our first segment will share background about London’s hope for “legacy” during and after the Games, plus, a look into the financial challenges incurred from hosting such massive festitivies. Stay tuned for our second and third segments which will address London’s Games with regard to social issues and sustainability. More after the break.

Question: What would Archigram have done for the 2012 London Olympics?

Archigram Instant City
Archigram Instant City

Share your creative responses in the comment section below:

How (Not) to Host The Olympics (Part III)

How (Not) To Host the Olympics (Part II)

"We Will Not Leave"  Words painted on a wall in a neighborhood slated for demolition. Despite some protests, Beijing citizens were powerless to stop the demolition of their homes in the name of the Olympics. Photo via Flickr CC User theroadisthegoal
"We Will Not Leave" Words painted on a wall in a neighborhood slated for demolition. Despite some protests, Beijing citizens were powerless to stop the demolition of their homes in the name of the Olympics. Photo via Flickr CC User theroadisthegoal

If you remember nothing else from  Part I of our Olympic City Guide, Your Very Own Guide to Successfully Hosting the Olympic Games, make it the GOLDEN RULE: “The best thing to do if you’re bidding for the Olympics, Is to Not Get the Olympics.” As we explained in Part I, this take-it-or-leave-it mentality is key to Olympic success. See the Olympics as the Games, and, come autumn, you’ll find your city littered with resource-guzzling, empty stadiums. See the Olympics as an excuse to get your plans for Urban Renewal into hyper-drive, and you’ll get the gold: a publicity-hogging, urban makeover that will continue to make you profit years after the Olympic circus has packed up and gone home. But Olympic legacy doesn’t just come down to dollars and cents. It often means making a very real socio-cultural impact. Which leads us to our second set of Dos and Donts, starting with DON’T: Be Shady. And yes, we’re looking at you Beijing… Keep reading for the Dos and Donts of Olympic Hostdom, after the break…

How (Not) To Host The Olympics

So – you want to be an Olympic City do you? Well let’s hope you’re going for gold. First of all, the Olympic bid is no child’s play. You can spend millions just to prove (often unsuccessfully) your worthiness. And, if you do get the bid, who’s to say that your Olympic Dreams won’t be dashed by elephantine debts, colossal inefficiencies, and your own citizenry’s open animosity? Everyone may think the Olympics is all guts and glory, but frankly, the truth is far more complex. Which is why we’ve come up with a User’s Guide – the Do’s and Dont’s to Hosting Your Very Own Olympics. We’ll begin with the GOLDEN RULE: “The best thing to do if you’re bidding for the Olympics, Is to Not Get the Olympics.” Want to know the Cardinal Sins of Olympic Hostdom? Keep reading after the break…