In a full-day event at NLA, key players from the ODA, LOCOG and the newly formed Olympic Park Legacy Company spoke together for the first time about the current progress of the Olympic Park and development opportunities it will bring to this area of London.
Speakers included David Higgins, Chief Executive of the ODA; Jerome Frost, Head of Design at the ODA; Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company; and Kevin Owens, Design Principal of Venues & Infrastructure at LOCOG.
Much has been made of the 2012 Olympics’ role as a catalyst for East London’s regeneration. The Olympic Park is a challenging site, dissected by water, power lines and railways, which have historically cut it off from the rest of London, and is also located at the heart of one of the most socially secluded populations in Britain. Plans for the site aim not only to build a world–class Olympic venue but also to reconnect the site physically and socially into the surrounding area, and to the rest of London and Europe.
Legacy planning was highlighted by speakers as the foremost consideration throughout the design process, and Jerome Frost explained that the Olympic venues and parklands will serve in part to change perceptions of the area of London as a place to live. 60 per cent of the site will stay as it is in legacy mode and plans are in place to reopen the site after the Games in early summer 2013, with new homes, shops and a school.