August 9, 2012 – The Olympics has been the most talked-about subject in our office for almost a month. And, of course, the buildings of Londonâ€™s games have been the focus of a lot of these conversations (we are, after all, enthusiasts of all things construction). Many have seen these impressive structures over the last few weeks, but how much do we know about the buildings themselves?
You first should know that rebuilding London to host the games was a major undertaking. The moment London won the 2012 Olympic bid in 2005, the work began. First, officials had to determine what existing structures around the city could be used for the games as they were, which structures could be remodeled to meet the needs of the games, and what would need to be built from scratch. Historic sporting sites like Wimbledon were shoe-ins for the games, but as London evaluated its facilities, they knew there was a lot of work to be done.
But there were many concerns about the construction project before it began. The city wanted to consider the long-term impacts of each building project. Considerations such as sustainability, construction jobs and training, and the long-term legacy of each potential building were evaluated. If a building wasnâ€™t considered a â€ślong-term benefit,â€ť it was, instead, built as a temporary structure.
Perhaps the most impressive Olympic structure, Londonâ€™s Olympic Stadium was the center of the Games. Built on an â€śislandâ€ť surrounded by water on three sides, this 80,000-capacity stadium was not only the host for the many of the Olympic events, but also hosted the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies. The structure was part permanent, part temporary. The lower bowl of the stadium, which is the facilityâ€™s permanent structure, holds 25,000 permanent seats. The remaining 55,000 seats were demountable, so, if necessary, they can be added on in the future (and donâ€™t we wish we had these plans in an online plan room? Weâ€™d love to have taken a look).
The Aquatics Centre was another structure built especially for the London games. The Centre is composed of a permanent structure that had an added two temporary seating wings during the games. The permanent structure and the temporary seats together held the 17,500 spectators during the games, but when the games leave town (and the temporary seats with it), the state-of-the-art center will still hold 5000 screaming fans.
The games may be over, but these structures will last lifetimes. And while we would have loved to have been a part of their pre-construction planning, we have now officially added â€śvisit Londonâ€™s Olympic Villageâ€ť to our iSqFt Bucket List.