Now, after almost 10 years of planning, the party has begun. But when the celebrations are over and the hangovers clear, what will Londoners find? Will we see an East London regeneration that has the hallmarks of Barcelona’s transformation, or an empty and bedraggled temple to hubris of Athenian proportions? Hanway says legacy is enshrined in the project. ‘Right from the beginning, legacy was a strategic decision. We never drew up a plan that was just an Olympic plan. There was always also a transition plan and a legacy plan. For example, we made sure that infrastructure was in the right place for legacy use, not just for the Games; that roads were placed where they’d be needed after the Olympics,’ he says.
to dismantle, after which the centre will provide two 50m swimming pools for public use, doubling the number of Olympic-size pools in London.
In designing the Velodrome, Hopkins Architects had to address conflict between Olympic Broadcast Services’ (OBS) needs and legacy requirements. ‘The broadcast service wants total control of light in venues and this means minimising natural light because the OBS can’t control it,’ says Taylor. ‘We decided natural light was the right answer for legacy users, to reduce running costs and improve the environmental performance of the building, so we designed for legacy. We pressed on with rooflights, leaving the OBS to black them out if it insists on it for the Games.’