Athletes’ Village, London 2012
Plot N26, Stratford City North
Plot N26 of the Stratford City North masterplan, formed part of the Athletes’ Village for the London 2012 Olympics. Following the games, it is now part of East Village, one of the most significant and successful regeneration projects in London.
Cost Consultant Lendlease
Structural Engineer WSP
Services Engineer Hoare Lea
Main Contractor Galliford Try
Landscape Architect Kinnear Landscape Architects
Designing and delivering one of the final plots for the London 2012 Athletes’ Village was both exciting and challenging, with immense complexity and an aggressive programme.
We were the last architects brought onto the project and faced the combination of a tight programme, significant building constraints and complex stakeholder approval processes.
Our contribution combined a ‘can-do’ pragmatism with a principled focus on the end users’ needs. This not only overcame the very challenging requirements of a complex brief for both Olympic and legacy uses, but also resulted in homes that place value on generous layouts, excellent daylighting and quality external amenity space.
We developed detailed proposals that took account of the numerous restrictions in place but sought to innovate and exploit the remaining opportunities to add value.
The scheme provided 242 homes in a mix of unit types going from three to 11 storeys; from townhouses to apartments over three storey maisonettes.
A railway track bounding the eastern edge of the site meant we were able to develop a new townhouse typology unique within the Athletes’ Village to respond to this condition.
We devised façade strategies to add interest, materiality and variety within the Athletes’ Village. Working with blockwork company Ligancite, we developed a slim block for the bottom three storeys of the buildings that combined recycled wood and glass aggregate as a robust and sustainable plinth. Above, terracotta rainscreen cladding provided colour to the southern buildings with vertical stripes, and a subtle faceting to the northern buildings in gloss and matt white.
In addition, we designed balconies that were consistently larger than those generally seen on the Athletes’ Village, that added articulation and a sense of spaciousness to the apartments. Commercial space at the ground floor to the south offers mixed use, which we feel is vital to any new urban setting.
At every stage we prioritised the needs of the eventual residents—not just the athletes using the buildings for the summer of 2012—but individuals and families who would be setting up their homes as part of the Olympics legacy.
The result is a project with its own identity and a series of buildings that can be enjoyed by residents and visitors for years to come. We are proud to have played a part in the regeneration of this part of east London. The former Athletes’ Village is now East Village, and the neighbourhood now has a school, health centre, shops and gyms. Transport links are excellent and thousands of tenants enjoy the proximity to the Olympic Park in what is a thriving, active community—a sustainable endnote to a successful Olympic games.
dRMM's design approach has placed added value and an understanding of cost within the construction context at the heart of the design process.
Project Development Manager, Lendlease