It has been such an exciting week with the countdown to the 2012 London Olympics really underway.
A fascinating documentary on TV the other night showed just what an extraordinary feat getting the Olympic Park to its ‘ready to be trialled’ state has been. I had not appreciated quite how much emphasis has been put on trying to minimise the carbon footprint of the whole building process with the use of railways and revived canals for transport, on-site reuse of 90% of demolished building materials and re-design of key elements of the major stadia to minimise use of steel.
I found the programme’s description of the engineering behind Zaha Hadid’s Aquatics Centre’s ‘wave’ roof, (shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize) which spans more than two football pitches supported only by a slim wall at one end and two columns at the other, quite amazing. Although there has been some criticism of the two temporary seating stacks on either side, these are necessary for spectator capacity during the games and will be removed after the Games when the Wave Roof will be revealed in all its glory as part of the all important legacy of the 2012 Games.
The striking design of the Olympic medals was released this week as well. To quote the official press release: “The medals’ circular form is a metaphor for the world. The front of the medal always depicts the same imagery at the summer Games – the Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike, stepping out of the depiction of the Parthenon to arrive in the Host City.
The design for the reverse features five symbolic elements:
- The curved background implies a bowl similar to the design of an amphitheatre.
- The core emblem is an architectural expression, a metaphor for the modern City, and is deliberately jewel-like.
- The grid suggests both a pulling together and a sense of outreach – an image of radiating energy that represents the athletes’ efforts.
- The River Thames in the background is a symbol for London and also suggests a fluttering baroque ribbon, adding a sense of celebration.
- The square is the final balancing motif of the design, opposing the overall circularity of the design, emphasising its focus on the centre and reinforcing the sense of ‘place’ as in a map inset.”
At South East Tour Guides we will be spending the time between now and the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on 27 July 2012 putting everything in place to ensure that clients who base themselves in the South East, within easy reach of the Olympic venues, to have the most memorable stay possible. Watch this space over the coming months for more about our plans.