London: RIBA Olympics exhibition

I was at RIBA for the UR{BNE} Films partnership screening of My Playground, and also took the chance to wander their current exhibition about the Olympics.  It highlighted the great new stadiums for London 2012  but more interestingly also explored the idea of legacy.  “Ego Trip or Timeless Memorial?  I thought this was especially interesting locally, in light of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and the bits of planning I’ve heard about it.

After the Party.  2012 is a special moment in the history of London and the UK. We have embarked upon an ambitious building programme with new spaces and structures dedicated to marking this Olympic year, but how does this contemporary effort compare with celebrations past?

What became of the monuments we erected in the name of former Olympics, millennia, world fairs, victories in battle and expos? After the party, what happened to them and how does the proposed 2012 legacy compare? This exhibition explores how celebratory events across time have left a legacy through the structures built for them.

They have a “Olympic Park Legacy Commission” which I thought was a great name.  I think this hints that ultimately ongoing success for the city only comes from governance structures that can plan forward, and handle a tricky balance of  short term event priorities and long term urban placemaking opportunities.

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One thought on “London: RIBA Olympics exhibition

  1. Muzz says:

    I loved visiting the RIBA, and it’s great that some people have put some thought into the legacy. I wonder how other ex-Olympic or Commonwealth games sites have coped. I visited Barcelona a few years back and thought some parts of Montjuic looked a little forlorn.

    It seems we’ve done fairly well out of Expo 88 here at least – though it took a little while.

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