Olympic Villages – Past and Present

by Leslie Hossack

Model Building, Millennium Water Presentation Centre, Vancouver 2009

© Leslie Hossack

Presentation Suite, Millennium Water Presentation Centre, Vancouver 2009

© Leslie Hossack

The two photographs above were taken a year before the opening of the Vancouver Games. The 2010 Athletes’ Village in the heart of Vancouver and the 2012 Olympic Village in East London have much in common. Both projects involved the rejuvenation of largely forgotten urban areas. These are no ordinary communities. Normally, we create purpose-built structures, but Olympic city planning is not the norm. Vancouver and London saw the construction of a group of buildings to serve as transient Athletes’ Villages and, subsequently, ongoing urban communities. Initially these villages would operate as the world’s most exclusive communities for elite athletes from around the globe.

During the 2010 winter games, the Olympic Village in Vancouver accommodated over 2,800 athletes and officials. The area, now called the Village on False Creek, consists of over 1,000 residential units. Some of the condos are still for sale today. These photographs show the sales centre as it looked in 2009.

The London Olympic Village contains 11 residential areas, each made up of five to seven blocks. There are apartments for approximately 17,000 athletes and officials during the 2012 summer games. After, the village will be transformed into 2,818 housing units. This new residential neighbourhood is to be known as East Village.

To see my photographs of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Village, please visit my website: lesliehossack.com. My images of the London Olympic site will be posted here on Haute Vitrine in the future, along with photographs of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Stadium which I documented in June 2012.

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