The Olympics have the power to transform cityscapes with state-of-the-art infrastructure and spectacular new stadiums. After all, in 2008 it appeared that Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest” and “Water Cube” would steal the show … that is, until Michael Phelps won eight gold medals.
So, with just a few weeks until our private charter jet passengers fly to the opening ceremonies of the 30th Summer Olympic Games in London, we started wondering: how will the landscape of London be changed for the games?
Most of the major development for the Olympic Games in London is centered around the 500-acre Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which is located in the Stratford area of East London. Occupying a former industrial zone, the park will bring a splash of green and gleaming white venues to this part of the city’s landscape.
But whereas most Olympic developments take on Herculean ambition, London has opted to take a more conservative approach. Call it a reluctance to spend extravagantly in a lean economy, or a desire for sustainability, but most of the new sporting venues are relatively modest affairs by Olympic standards. Then again, when your city already has facilities like Wembley Stadium and Wimbeldon to utilize, who can blame the British for being sensible?
Planners for these games were adamant that the plans exclude “white elephant” projects. As a result, every venue has a legacy plan for after the Games, meaning Londoners — and travelers alike — will have plenty to enjoy once the Olympic flame is extinguished.
Here are some of the top new venues that will crown the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park:
- Olympic Stadium – As the third-largest stadium in Britain, the Olympic Stadium will host both the opening and closing ceremonies as well as track and field events. Plans for the stadium after the games are still up for bid, but they include reconfiguration plans to be the new home of West Ham United Football Club.
- The Aquatic Center – Designed in 2004 for the London Olympics bid by Zaha Hadid, this facility will host swimming and diving. From afar, the structure is reminiscent of a white dove landing on the park.
- The ArcelorMittal Orbit – Orbit by Anish Kapoor — the genius behind Chicago’s Cloudgate (aka “The Bean”) — is not only the largest piece of public art in Britain, but will serve as an intriguing observation tower during and after the games.
- The Basketball Arena – Its straightforward name belies a straightforward purpose: to be taken down. As a temporary structure — the largest ever in Olympics history — the Basketball Arena will most likely be disassembled after the Olympics, but could potentially be used in the 2016 games in Rio de Janiero. Perhaps no other venue better captures the spirit of sustainability for these London Games for our private charter jet passengers.
Transporting visitors to and from events will be no small task, particularly since the London Underground — already the second most extensive metro network in the world — handles 3 million passengers on an average day. As a result, upgrades have been implemented to several lines, including those serving East London and the Docklands.
Published with permission from Inspirato.com
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