In only a matter of months now, 16,000 top ranked athletes from across the globe will arrive on flights to London for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. There will be world class venues in which all these athletes will compete. But where will they all sleep?
Every competitor, no matter where his or her event will be held, will be guaranteed a home away from home in the newly constructed Olympic Village.
At the moment the Village is still very much a work in progress (though it is coming along ahead of schedule), but if it pulls through as planned it promises an incredible place to stay for the athletes and, once the Olympics have moved on, a vibrant and well connected new community for London.
The Olympic Village will offer the athletes the most spacious accommodation in the history of the Olympics, with enough room to house every athlete as well as all National Olympic Committee team officials. That comes to a total of 17,320 beds, with the capacity to add even more if required.
Spacious, secure and convenient, the Olympic Village will be located the heart of the Olympic Park. Every apartment will provide comfortable accommodation and state-of-the-art communications facilities, including internet access and wireless networking. All the apartment blocks will be fully accessible and equipped with modern lifts and offer stunning views over the Park and of London’s incredible skyline.
The majority of competitors – 80% of Olympic athletes and over 95% of Paralympic athletes – will be housed within 20 minutes of their venues. Every athlete-centred service, such as the on site arrivals and accreditation centre, the main dining hall, cafes, shops and leisure facilities, will be just a few minutes away from any area of the Village.
The Village will also include a “Village Plaza” where athletes will be able to meet with friends and family. Adjacent to the new Stratford City complex, athletes will have easy access to Westfield (the largest shopping centre in the UK) and to the High Speed 1 Javelin shuttle service linking the Village to central London in just seven minutes by rail.
During the Games, the Village will include “back of house” operations, and services for athletes such as catering and transport. The majority of these will be accommodated in temporary structures on sites that can be cleared for development immediately after the Games.
Following the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Village will be transformed into 2,800 new homes ready for living by 2013. Roughly half of these will be affordable housing. The communities that develop in and around the area after the Games will be supported by new parks, open space, transport links, and community facilities.
Image Credit: Chris Osburn (Author)