As they prepare to speak at the Telegraph Business of Sport Conference on Wednesday, two panelists, Populous Senior Principal Christopher Lee, and Simon Clegg CBE, Chief Operating Officer of the Baku 2015 European Games, tell us what they are particularly looking forward…
CHALLENGE. The numbers involved in staging an Olympic Games are staggering. 26 Olympic sports and 21 Paralympic sports across 29 venues in 27 days, plus all the athletes, spectators, TV viewers, media and volunteers. To do it successfully involves a series of steps: developing a winning bid that combines vision with a robust technical plan; creating a master plan that works logistically and shows the host city off to its best advantage; designing and building a stadium that’s a fitting location for the Olympic spectacle; managing the overlay requirements; and, perhaps most importantly of all, to leave a lasting legacy once the Games are over, both in terms of sporting facilities, and for the city itself. Populous is proud to have been a key part of all these steps.
INNOVATION. The stadium, and the master plan as a whole, have taken a new, sustainable approach to temporary architecture – we use only the materials, structure and operational systems needed for the event, then transform it for a long-term future use. This is part of our broader thinking on legacy: it’s not something that can be retrofitted. The Games themselves must be spectacular, but we believe to be truly successful you have to consider the long-term impact right from the start.
IMPACT. The Games have been a catalyst for urban regeneration in East London, fast tracking 25-30 years of planned work into just a decade and creating the largest new park in the city for over 100 years. Our philosophy of ‘embrace the temporary’ has allowed the freedom to showcase London, using it as a backdrop to create defining moments – volleyball on Horse Guards Parade, the silhouette of a horse jumping in Greenwich Park – that will stand as a symbol of the Games for decades to come.
The Stadium will also deliver an athletics legacy for London, part of which will be the hosting of the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships.