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OLYMPIC GAMES / ATHLETES VILLAGE, LONDON, UK


VILLAGE GENIUS


The Athletes Village forms an essential element in any Olympic event. Speirs + Major helped provide both competitors and future residents with a safe and sustainable space.


The Athletes Village is a mixed-use de- velopment, predominantly comprised of residential buildings, as well as commercial, transport, retail and educational facilities that forms part of the wider Stratford City Development. Speirs + Major’s involvement began with an appointment by Lend Lease in 2009 to work on a high level masterplan for the wider area with a subsequent appointment by the Olympic Delivery Authority to provide the public realm lighting design for the public realm for Zones 3-6 – the Athletes Village. The public lighting design has been specifi- cally developed for use in legacy mode after the Games but have been used, with the possible addition of overlay lighting, as the temporary accommodation for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic.


STRATEGY


Speirs + Major initially worked with mas- terplanners to develop a shared vision for


the experience of the area after dark. This shared concept was based on an urban design hierarchy that reinforces the distinc- tion of the urban and landscape elements within the public realm, and promotes way- finding. Taking this forward they focused on how light could be used to develop a dis- tinctive character for each of the different types of routes and spaces, providing strong visual cues for intuitive way-finding. The approach centres on visually apparent changes to the way light is applied to the routes and spaces. This suggests both their purpose and allows users to make decisions about their route based on the levels of brightness and uniformity they are comfort- able with. Lighting to different route types is scaled in terms of the intensity of the light as well as the height and the perceived size of the equipment. Specific decorative effects are used to highlight social areas. Overlaid on this, strong visual landmarks are created in key locations to link spaces to-


gether so that pedestrians can easily make sense of the space within the context of the wider area. A consistent quality of light in terms of colour rendering and temperature, alongside a deliberately limited palette of equipment brings cohesion to the scheme and ensures an overall pleasant environ- ment.


Sustainability is at the core of the design. The lighting class to which the scheme has been designed needed to be carefully con- sidered both with respect to the surround- ing urban fabric and the adjoining Wetlands and Olympic Park, which in Legacy will be a largely dark landscape. With safety and se- curity paramount, Speirs + Major worked on providing sight lines, illuminating selected vertical surfaces to improve the perception of brightness and to aid way-finding, as well as a consistent approach to uniformity. All of these measures enabled a Lighting Class of S2 to be approved, with an average main- tained illuminance of 10 lux.


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