Monthly Archives: August 2012

Olympics 2 – The Architecture

I only had about an hour to spend wandering around the Olympic park after the Basketball  matches I had been watching finished before I had to cross London for a meeting a the the WWT London Wetlands Centre, so this is not an exhaustive photographic library of all the buildings, but a few of some of my favourites. The permanent legacy buildings were beautiful and very well done. The full extent of the design of the Aquatic Centre will be revealed once the temporary seating sections have been removed, but glimpses of the overall structure give an idea of its beauty now.

I didn’t have time to try and get up the Orbit, but it was proving a popular photographic subject. It struck me as a cross between a playground slide and a Roller Coaster, a real challenge to the engineers who had to build it from the designers ideas.

I loved the contrast of the trees, temporary Basketball Arena and the clouds which made me take the picture above. The approach to the arena over the river Lee gave a great view of the Basketball arena and the Velodrome next door which are raised up slightly on a rise in the landscape. I was surprised at the beauty of some of the temporary structures as well, considering they were all constructed of special scaffolding and a skin wrapped around them.

The Velodrome, covered in wood, was positioned at the top of  a rise. It stood out beautifully on the horizon when approaching it from the Olympic Stadium. As time weathers the wood it may lose the current orange colour of the wood, but the graceful sweep and curves of the design will remain. I don’t think I would want the job of preserving the wood though!

  

 

Not Quite my usual subject – Olympics 1 – The Nature legacy

With the Paralympics approaching, London will once again be the centre of the sporting world for 12 days. The Olympics proved to be a huge success and I was lucky enough to get tickets to have two weekends in a row to visit London to see some of the sports. I was really interested to see the Olympic park as it had been billed as a nature friendly development and a continuation of the Lee Valley river system, which is now becoming one of the biggest nature friendly developments in any city. The Lee Valley complex stretches from the banks of the River Thames, through east London and up through Essex and Hertfordshire.

A nature reserve on the Olympic Park site will be one of the legacies of the event and will continue the “green lung” of London theme to the Lee Valley development. Going by the reaction to the flower meadows, I think it will be a popular addition to the London landscape.

 

Once the sport has finished, pay the park a visit and see for yourself the transition of a toxic wasteland to a fully fledged park and community in the east end of London. Plus if you don’t like the idea of missing out on a bit of shopping while in London, there is the large Westfield shopping centre to spend your money in.

The sporting events of the Olympics were spectacular and I hope to bring you a flavour of that over the next few blog posts.