Saturday, July 14, 2012

Venues - Olympic Park

London 2012 has been the catalyst for transforming 2.5 square kilometres of land in east London. What was once industrial land has been rapidly transformed over the last few years into green space that both visitors to the Games and local residents can enjoy.
As well as being home to eight venues – including the iconic Olympic StadiumAquatics Centre and Velodrome – the Olympic Park will host a range of exciting attractions and events during the Games.

Art in the Park

RUN art installation on the Olympic Park

RUN art installation on the Olympic Park  

There’s a wide range of imaginative and inspiring art and culture installations across the Olympic Park – make sure you take in some of the sights.

An impressive programme of permanent art commissions have been integrated with the high-quality British architecture, design, construction and engineering of the Olympic Park, ranging from bridges and underpasses designed by artists, to planting schemes, security fences and large-scale facades.
These projects demonstrate the ingenuity and imagination that artists have brought to the look and feel of the Park.
By integrating arts and culture into the Park’s public spaces, London 2012’s aim has been to achieve a unique area that will give existing local communities a sense of ownership, attract new businesses and create an area where new communities will want to live – as well as make east London a world-class visitor destination.
The Art in the Park commissions and projects have been supported by a number of funders, including the Greater London Authority, Arts Council England, London Development Agency, and Forward Arts Foundation among others. Some of the main installations are summarised below.


Internationally-renowned artist Monica Bonvicini was commissioned to design a flagship artwork for outside the Copper Box. Monica designed three nine-metre tall letters forming the word ‘RUN’, made of glass and stainless steel. In daylight, the letters act as a mirror, and at night they become more transparent and glow with internal LED lighting. Monica’s inspiration for the work comes from musical references, such as ‘Running Dry’ by Neil Young, and the many uses of the Park.

History Trees

This major commission, developed by renowned British artists Ackroyd and Harvey, involves a collection of ten large trees – reaching up to 18 metres tall – planted to mark the entrances to the 500-acre Olympic Park. Three tree species will be in place during the Games and the remaining seven will be planted in legacy. Each tree will have a large ring weighing up to 500kg securely placed in the crown, with words and phrases reflecting the area’s local history engraved into them. Over time, the tree branches and ring will slowly fuse together, becoming a living memory of the Olympic Park.

Fantastic Factology

The third in a series of commissions by a team of local artists and designers – The Klassnik Corporation, Riitta Ikonen and We Made That – Fantastic Factology is a series of plaques on benches distributed throughout the Park. Each plaque features a fact that was either submitted via a website or gathered through a series of local workshops. Nuggets of knowledge, from astrology to zoology, draw on the broad experience of the local community and global specialists from a variety of fields.

Steles (Waterworks)

These striking and colourful artworks lining the Waterworks River reflect the spirit of the London 2012 Games, while accentuating the main river that flows through the Olympic Park. Their vivid colours punctuate this newly formed landscape both during the Games and in legacy, when they will be used for boat moorings. Both sculptural and functional, they evoke nautical way-markers, and have been made from the same durable materials used for navigational buoys.

The Spark Catchers

The first poem commissioned for the Olympic Park as part of the Winning Words programme, The Spark Catchers was written by local and renowned poet Lemn Sissay. Inspired by the history of the site, Lemn has written a poignant poem on the history of the Bryant and May match factory, which still exists on the edge of the Park in Bow. The poem is etched into a wooden structure in the north of the Park which will house one of the main electricity transformers.

The Fun Palace

Written by Caroline Bird as part of Winning Words, The Fun Palace is etched on the sides of the Olympic Park transformer enclosures. It is about the life and work of Joan Littlewood, who was the lifeforce behind Stratford East Theatre. Joan had wanted to build The Fun Palace – a ground-breaking, multi-creation arts and education centre – on the site of the Olympic Park in the 1960s. Although it was never built, it remains a source of inspiration to a range of people.
Find out more about the Winning Words programme, which is funded by the Forward Arts Foundation and Arts Council England.

One Whirl

Hackney-based artist Martin Richman has incorporated his artwork into one of the central bridges on the Olympic Park. Martin’s concept, which is inspired by the energy of the Games and the flow of the rivers that run through it, has been installed using different types of recycled glass.

Fast, Faster, Fastest

Jason Bruges Studio has designed an interactive bridge leading to the Olympic Stadium. The bridge will be lit up during the Games, but will be programmed afterwards so that the lights flash at the speed of the fastest 100 metre sprints, allowing visitors to race against the speed of their sporting heroes.
Download a map of the Olympic Park showing the locations of Art in the Park installations. A more detailed map will be available closer to the Games.


Plan your journey to the Games in advance

Plan your journey to the Games in advance
London’s transport network will be very busy, especially around the Olympic Park. While it’s important to plan your journey in advance, remember to check this website for any last-minute updates or changes before you travel.
Plan your journey to the Olympic Park using the spectator journey planner
Make sure you read the visitor information for your venue before you plan your journey
View a travel map for the Olympic Park
There is no spectator parking at the Olympic Park, except for a limited number of pre-booked Blue Badge spaces
Get information on travelling to the Olympic Park during the Paralympic Games
National Rail
Stratford – around 15-minute walk
Stratford International – around 15-minute walk
West Ham – around 25-minute walk
If you’re travelling from outside London, you should book your rail tickets in advance. Special 2012 Games Train Tickets are available for London 2012 ticket holders.
London Underground
Stratford (Jubilee and Central lines) – around 15-minute walk
West Ham (District and Hammersmith & City lines) – around 25-minute walk
Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
Stratford – around 15-minute walk
Stratford International – around 15-minute walk
West Ham – around 25-minute walk
London Overground
The North London Line on London Overground connects Richmond to Stratford, avoiding central London. If you’re travelling from south London, use the East London Line and change at Canonbury on to the North London Line.
London has an extensive bus network, with many bus routes serving Stratford bus station. For details, check the Transport for London website. We also recommend you check the summary of service changes during the Games [PDF]
The 2012 Games canal boat service runs along the River Lea to the Olympic Park, docking just 70 metres from the Olympic Stadium. The service is offering free travel for wheelchair users during the Games.
Tickets go on sale on 9 May 2012. Due to limited capacity, pre-booking is strongly recommended.
There are 2012 Games coach services running to the Olympic Park from a range of locations. Services are planned to arrive at the venue for the start of sessions, and must be booked in advance.
Park-and-ride sites are available for the Olympic Park, with regular park-and-ride shuttle services. Park-and-rail services are available from Ebbsfleet International station, where trains run directly to Stratford International and the Olympic Park.
Park-and-ride and park-and-rail services are not included in the price of your event ticket and must be booked in advance
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Not an option for this venue.
The public transport system will be very busy – so walking may be quicker than you think. There are a number of walking routes that connect with the Olympic Park. You may also wish to get off the underground a stop or two early to walk or join one of the free led walks that will be available on certain days of the Games.
Discover more about the area and soak up the atmosphere with a 2012 Games guided walk. Guided walks offer an opportunity to travel to your venue on foot with experienced walk leaders, giving you confidence that you will arrive on time without getting lost! Trained volunteers will meet you at a convenient start point and lead you to or from the venue in groups of up to 30. To find out more and reserve your place on a free guided walk for this venue click here
Free, secure, managed cycle parking will be provided in Victoria Park (around 15-minute walk to Victoria Gate), and outside Eton Manor Gate and Greenway Gate. Please bring your own cycle lock.
You can view new routes and plan your trip using a new London Cycling Guide covering the Olympic Park and surrounding area, which includes diversions put in place for the Games and temporary cycle parking locations around the Olympic Park.
Alternatively, plan your journey by bike using the spectator journey planner

If you’re thinking of cycling, why not join a 2012 Games guided cycle ride. These rides offer an opportunity to travel with an experienced ride leader, on audited routes. The rides are up to an hour long and are suitable for families. You’ll need your own bike but the rides are free. Click here to find out more and reserve your place.

To keep you pedalling, there is a free ‘keep you going’ cycle maintenance service available at this venue, located near the cycle parking area. Experienced bike mechanics will carry out minor repairs to help get you back on the road. You’ll need to pay for any parts needed but labour is free.

Please note that bike locks will not be provided at the venue so remember to bring one with you.
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Accessible travel
Stratford and Stratford International are the recommended stations with step-free access and staff assistance available. West Ham station also has step-free access, but is further away from the Park.
If you are arriving via the Jubilee line at Stratford station an accessible shuttle service will run from the end of the platforms to the eastern entrance of the Olympic Park. This service is exclusively for disabled spectators.
If you’re travelling by National Rail and require assistance, you should book this when you buy your train tickets. To book rail tickets and assistance, visit the 2012 Games Train Ticket booking website
London's buses have low floors and provide audio and visual information. There is one wheelchair space per bus.
Limited, pre-booked accessible parking will be provided close to the venue for disabled spectators who are UK Blue Badge holders or members of an equivalent national scheme. This must be booked in advance
In addition, park-and-ride is an integrated and inclusive service with accessible parking spaces and shuttles. Book an accessible park-and-ride space now
Wheelchair spaces can also be booked on 2012 Games coach services

Taxis and private hire vehicles
Taxi and private hire vehicle drop-off areas are located outside Eton Manor Gate and Greenway Gate.


The Orbit at night

The Orbit at night
Standing 115 metres high, the Orbit is the tallest art structure in Britain – offering stunning views over the Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park and the whole of London.
Located in Orbit Circus in the south of the Olympic Park, the Orbit is London’s major new visitor destination – both during the Games and beyond.

The design and construction

The search for a permanent artwork on the Olympic Park was instigated by the Mayor of London’s Office, which invited more than 30 international artists to submit their ideas for a sculpture of up to 180 metres tall.
Following a lengthy selection process, the Orbit – designed by internationally acclaimed artist Anish Kapoor – was chosen.  As well as promising a unique moment and experience for visitors, the spiralling red structure successfully represented both London and the UK, and was reflective of the five Olympic rings.
Construction of the Orbit started in November 2010, and was completed by April 2012.

The Orbit experience

The Orbit is more than a work of art – it’s an entire experience. After going through the small, intimate entrance to the Orbit, visitors make their way into an elevator with viewing portholes, which takes just 30 seconds to pass through the Orbit’s twisting form and reach the viewing platform 85 metres high.
Once it’s reached the platform, visitors can step outside the lift and experience the Olympic Park in a whole new light – as well as enjoying stunning views of London’s cityscape. It’s also possible to look straight down the centre of the Orbit to the ground below – though this isn’t recommended for the fainthearted!
To conclude the experience, visitors are encouraged to stroll down the spiral staircase that twists through the Orbit, enjoying even more amazing sights.

Visiting the Orbit

An Orbit ticket alone will not give you access to the Olympic Park. Please only purchase a ticket for the Orbit if you already have a ticket for the Olympic Park or for a sport session in the Olympic Park. Tickets must be purchased in advance at
After the Games, the Orbit will close and re-open in late 2013, when it will give even more visitors the opportunity to experience it.

London 2012 Megastore

London 2012 Megastore
London 2012 Megastore
Spanning more than 4,000 square meters, the London 2012 Megastore offers the most extensive range of the London 2012 licensed products under one roof, and is comparable in size and experience to a high street department store.

With over 2,500 different products, you’re sure to find the perfect gift or souvenir. Whether porcelain tea cups, posters, mascots, t-shirts, pins, key rings, watches, bracelets, notebooks, caps right or limited edition memorabilia – we have something for everyone!
The Megastore will also showcase have the entire Olympic Venue Collection that has been designed and developed especially for spectators at the Games, and is available exclusively at London 2012 venues.  Focusing on sport specific and supporter products, this range of products will be truly sought after.
In addition to the Megastore, there are three further London 2012 shops in the Olympic Park, providing convenient locations for you to do a spot of shopping and pick up a supporter’s kit so you can cheer on your team.
The London 2012 Megastore and shops will be open from 8am to 11pm every day of the Games. The shops will be busy most of the time, but queues may be shorter if you visit earlier or later in the day.
In addition to a wide range of London 2012 gifts and souvenirs, the Megastore offers a Ship Home service managed in conjunction with UPS – London 2012’s official logistics partner – as well as tax-free VAT recovery service for overseas visitors.

Visit the online London 2012 Shop or find your nearest London 2012 store

Walk in the Olympic Park

See the Olympic Park from a completely different angle
Walk in the Park gives you the chance to see the Olympic Park from a completely different angle – surrounded by meadows, trees, flowers and wildlife – and to discover fascinating facts about its history and redevelopment.
To enjoy Walk in the Olympic Park, you need a ticket to the Olympic Park or to a sports session on the Park.
Whether you have time for a 30-minute stroll or a three-mile walk, it’s the perfect way to explore the Olympic Park and all it has to offer – just follow the butterflies along the trail. 
View a map of the Olympic Park

Map of the Park

Olympic Park map


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