Strawberry flavor for London 2012

Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:47pm EST
 
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - The stands are full of spectators enjoying the Olympic action on a glorious summer day with a familiar London landmark resplendent in the background.

London 2012 organizers last week published artists' impressions of how some of the yet-to-be-erected temporary facilities will look once the 'greatest show on earth' hits town next year.

Never mind the fact that British summers can be damp and drizzly -- center court at Wimbledon has a roof for a good reason -- and forget dire warnings of airport-style security and transport congestion.

The 'overlay' vision, as organizers move into a new phase of the preparations with the '500 days to go' mark coming up next month, is strawberries and cream, picnics in the park, street parties and long, lazy summer evenings outdoors.

"We started this process two years ago and we looked at the festival nature of things," said John Barrow, a senior principal for architects and venue designers Populous.

"We looked at the Festival of Britain in 1951 and explored the delight in the innovation post-war...we also looked at the legacy this brought.

"We then explored the quintessential aspects of what makes a London event...and looking at something like Wimbledon we think that atmosphere of informality, laced with fun and festival, is really something we want to inject into London 2012," added Barrow.

"It does come down to the strawberries and cream and the long summer nights. We are trying to really create that type of atmosphere, albeit on a much bigger scale."   Continued...

 
<p>An undated artist's impression shows the venue in Greenwich Park for the London 2012 Equestrian and Modern Pentathlon competitions. London 2012 organisers last week published artists' impressions of how some of the yet-to-be-erected temporary facilities will look once the 'greatest show on earth' hits town next year. The elegant, 17th century, Inigo Jones-designed Queen's House at Greenwich and the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf will be the backdrop for the equestrian arena with temporary stands on three sides like a horseshoe. A deck will have to be erected on scaffolding to counter a drop of several metres over the terrain and produce the required level playing field, as well as to minimise the effect on the park itself. REUTERS/LOCOG/Populous/Handout</p>