London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Summer Games

London, United Kingdom
Olympic host cities face the daunting challenge of accommodating the global community while respecting the local one. A cultural capital of the world, London was no different.

It had plenty to showcase during the 2012 Games and little free space to do it. As the Official Architectural and Overlay Design Service Provider for the event, we led a consortium comprised of Allies & Morrison and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands to design one of the most innovative Games in the event’s history.

Our involvement in the London Games began with the initial site exploration back in 2003 and continued as a key member of the candidature bid team, the development of the masterplan and overlay strategy, the wayfinding and activation, and the designs for the main Olympic Stadium and multiple temporary venues.

London 2012 has raised the bar on sustainability, not just for future Olympic and Paralympic Games but for industry, and for the organizers of major events the world over.

Shaun McCarthy

Commission for a Sustainable London 2012




Building permanent structures to momentarily host the world doesn’t make much sense in the long run, so for decades, we’ve been perfecting the art and science of event architecture. Sometimes referred to as ‘overlay’ architecture, these temporary elements have evolved from the barebones scaffolding of the 20th century to the sophisticated and polished structures of today.

That expertise captured the industry’s attention in London. One part of a seamless environment, overlay venues brought fans closer to British landmarks than ever before, a prime example being beach volleyball at Horse Guard’s Parade, all while minimizing the event’s environmental and budgetary impact.

The 2012 Olympics are hailed as one of the best-planned in the Games’ history – and our groundbreaking approach moved the whole discipline of overlay architecture forward. It pushed suppliers to improve their standard systems. More importantly, it treated guests to unbelievable moments and world-class venues.

Facts & Figures

  • Olympic athletes


  • Paralympic athletes


  • ticketed spectators

    9.2 million

  • media personnel


  • games volunteers


  • modular seats


  • 2012

    • ISEM, Gold, Event Overlay and facilities
    • New London Architecture, Overlay Special Award, Team Populous for LOCOG

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