One week from today, a cast of 15,000 will partake in the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics in London. Events will be held in a wide variety of structures, both permanent and newly constructed. Depending on which media outlet you consult, some Londoners are proud of the variety of eclectic stadiums which have popped up across the city, while others are displeased with the way these venues have changed the look and feel of their city.

If nothing else, the architectural boom following the winning bid for any Olympics is worth admiring. Firms from all over the globe compete for their designs to be featured in the world’s most-watched sporting event. Interestingly, along with being the first “digital Olympics,” these games are also the most-notoriously privacy-restricted in history: from strict contracts regarding media coverage to bans on private citizens posting photos of the events on social media sites to gag-orders on the architects and engineers who designed and built the stadiums.

The following are a few fun articles about the London Olympic buildings and their creators, inspirations, receptions, and detractors:

Olympics 2012: Innovations going for the gold (Washington Post)

“Innovation goes beyond the athletes to include the venue as well. London 2012’s emphasis on showcasing sustainable green venues for its sporting events may challenge us to re-think public architecture in new ways, just as Beijing’s Bird Nest challenged us to re-think the design of buildings. Who needs air conditioning when you have buildings that use a 100 percent natural ventilation system? (Alright, if you’ve spent any time in the Washington, D.C. area this summer, you might be skeptical about any building that’s air-conditioning free.). Or how about buildings made from recycled construction debris? The London 2012 vision is to re-claim former industrial wasteland in the city by transforming it into a green park area.” Continue reading “London’s Olympic Architecture: Natural Ventilation Systems, Gag Orders, and Extreme Dancing”