Monday, June 4, 2012

London's Olympics on the Horizon

Architectural Record's June issue devotes extensive coverage to the London Olympics, and to London in general. See a list of articles with links here.

The issue includes my brief overview of the lasting effects of the Olympics in Barcelona and Athens.
"For the Greeks, the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the aftermath have become a symbol for everything that has gone wrong in their country..."
"Barcelona used the investments and positive energy generated by the 1992 Olympic Games as a tool for long-term strategic planning—a model that London studied closely...." 
 In an excellent article in The Guardian, Rowan Moore also weighs in on London's Olympic effort (link), calling into question the whole enterprise of the Games.

The article includes links about some of the Olympic projects, such as Anish Kapoor's and Cecil Balmont's Orbit sculpture,  (photo above, apparently sporting an impressive phallus), on which Moore comments, "it will cost £15 to go up to the top. I suggest that residents of nearby council tower blocks charge £14.95 to visit their flats. The view will be just as good and visitors would gain a richer understanding of London and of humanity".

 Other venues:
Aquatic Center by Zaha Hadid.
Velodrome by Hopkins Architects.
Athletic Stadium, sponsored by Dow Chemical.
Olympic Village (in a separate review by Rowan Moore).
Olympic Park by George Harrgreaves (gets a thumbs-up from Moore for preserving a sense of the pre-existing context amid the waterways of the River Lea).

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