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As we inch closer to the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics, set to grace stodgy old London town with some well deserved action. The grand buildings meant to house the various events have been built up and and the imposing force that is the Olympics is bearing down on one of the most established cities in the world. So how do you incorporate the massive undertaking of the Olympics into a city already brimming with culture, history and style? Architectural firm Populous has the answer. Make it temporary.
By approaching the construction of the infrastructure to contain and supply the massive influx of people and new places with an eye to the temporary takes care of a few potential problems. Past Olympics have, on occasion, led to serious problems with the host nations and their cities. Remember the 2004 Olympics in Athens? That was fun for everyone except Greece which now has 12 bleak white elephant venues, and shelled out 9 billion dollars to for the honor of hosting the games. While not the sole reason, the Olympics in greece have been cited as a contributing factor to the immense financial issues facing the country now.
Where Greece failed London aims to succeed by making the buildings for the games largely temporary, green, and scaleable. The main olympic stadium is made of different elements, at it’s height it will support an 80,000 person audience, But will be scaled down after the games to the more manageable size of 60,000. The Equestrian center will be held in Greenwich park, a world heritage site. The center itself will be gone after the games, but the awesomeness of the games will only contribute to the history of the park. While some amount of permanence is unavoidable, Populous has made sure that the pieces that remain will be used for a long time to come, while ensuring that the completely temporary structures will leave an impression lasting longer than they stand.
Temporary structures are lighter, they use less material, leading in turn to a smaller carbon footprint. Something that the IOC has been aiming for. By fulfilling the goal of making the venues for the games more temporary the architects at Populous have met challenges that will hopefully set the stage for the future of the games. Creating a tradition of sustainability, urban rejuvenation, and style.