The London Games will be a fantastic global event offering infinite number of possibilities. However few will be as long lasting as the homes and communities they create.
In just a few days the London Games will get under way with over 15,000 athletes, coaches and officials descending on the British Capital. Their home for the two week period is the London Olympic Village located in Olympic Park, only a short walk from the major venues.
Aside from apartments, the village features shops, restaurants, medical, media and leisure facilities, and large areas of open space. It is decorated with leafy courtyards and water features designed to help the athletes relax.
But what happens when everyone leaves?
After the games (incredibly in just three weeks’ time); the village will be transformed. 2,818 new homes (including 1,379 affordable homes) for sale and rent will create a new residential quarter to be known as ‘East Village’. Homes in the village will range from one bedroom apartments up to four and five bedroom townhouses.
Four years ago in Beijing a new complex of high-rise apartments was unveiled in conjunction with the launch of the games. They remain filled and a lasting legacy of only the third games to be held in Asia. On the flip side, the Athens Olympic Village from 2004 is no longer in use, highlighting the important need to have a post-games plan in place.
In 2004, as part of the Sydney Games, an entirely new suburb was created in West Sydney – Newington. Like the London village, the suburb was a purpose-built green village with a mix of free-standing homes, apartments and community facilities. Home to over 5000 people, it continues to grow to this day.
Other Olympic Villages of note:
Atlanta 1996 – The Olympic village at Georgia State was later bought by Georgia Tech for students’ housing. The village on the campus of Clark Atlanta later became housing for students at CAU.
Barcelona 1992 – A new neighbourhood, La Vila Olímpica, was built and became residential after the Games.
LA 1984 – The village has become facilities for UCLA, USC, and UCSB residents.
Montréal 1976 – Two 23-story pyramid-shaped buildings were constructed which are now apartment buildings.
Melbourne 1956 – The area in Heidelberg West, Victoria, is still called “Olympic Village” and now consists of a sports centre, a primary school, shopping strip, a community health centre which also houses a registered training organisation and a legal service.*
Disclaimer: “Aussie is not a sponsor of or affiliated with the AOC, IOC or the Olympics or any Olympian”.