The Olympics are famous for being among the most expensive sporting events to stage. In 2014, Russia spent an unbelievable $50 billion on the Winter Olympics, while China spent $40 billion on the 2008 Beijing Olympics. With the Rio Olympics just around the corner, you might be surprised to hear that when London hosted the games in 2012, the figures were relatively modest. Still an eye-watering £8.7 billion but a whole £9.2 billion under budget thanks to the clever use of temporary Olympic structures.
Keen on promoting sustainability throughout the London Olympic games, organisers wanted to leave behind a lasting social, economic and environmental legacy and therefore opted out of spending large amounts of money on infrastructure that would have no use after the games. Instead, they chose the more cost-effective solution of temporary Olympic structures.
Olympic Temporary Buildings
London’s Olympic Stadium is actually a temporary building. While the bottom half of the arena contains 25,000 permanent seats, the upper tier, made out of temporary lightweight steel and concrete, holds 55,000 removable seats. The temporary Olympic structure met the needs of the organisers in terms of both design and organisation, separating the media and athletes in the bottom half of the stadium, to the spectators at the top.
Hybrid stadium solutions enable economic benefits, including reduced cost per head and flexible equipment re-organisation. London’s Olympic Stadium was praised for being an impressive piece of infrastructure, proving that temporary buildings can be designed well, along with encouraging sustainable living.
Spectator pods were placed all around the concourse at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, connected by bridges to the main park. According to designers, this was done to promote the carnival nature of the event. The pods also comprised retail and food services, that spectators were free to visit during athletic events.
The pods not only heightened the message of sustainability, but offered unique design ideas throughout the Olympic park. The pods were removed shortly after the games and can be reused for other sporting events.
While the aquatics centre is a permanent stadium, the majority of the spectators were viewing the activities from two temporary wings, which were removed after the games. At present, the centre is used by the local community, with just the swimming and diving pools left for long-term use.
Spaciotempo provided temporary tiered seating for the Olympics which were removed shortly after the games ended, as the organisers came to the conclusion that there would be no requirement for such large quantities of spectator seating.
Temporary Olympic structures
Spaciotempo’s parent company GL events’ UK Seating and Stadia division acted as an Official Contributor to the London 2012 Olympic Games. In total, we supplied almost 140,000 tiered seats at 14 Olympic venues in the Olympic park and at iconic venues, such as Greenwich Park and Earls Court.
GL events Seating and Stadia also designed a complete interior structure for the London 2012 Basketball Arena, comprising of 12,000 seats – incorporating a VIP seated area – stands featuring gangways, staircases and a large network of internal access corridors, a high-spec media platform and disabled access platforms.
The company leads the field in the sale and rental of permanent and temporary tiered seating. That very same expertise is employed in Spaciotempo’s bespoke temporary building solutions – the gold standard in modular temporary structures for every occasion.