London 2012 Olympic Village: Landscape & Garden

olympic_village_london_2012Here is a CGI image of London’s 2012 Olympic ‘Village’ flanked by photos of the Student ‘Village’ it is replacing. One regrets that the Trade Descriptions Act does not apply to the word ‘Village’. The Online Etymological Dictionary entry for Village has: “late 14c., “inhabited place larger than a hamlet but smaller than a town,” from O.Fr. village “houses and other buildings in a group” (usually smaller than a town), from L. villaticum “farmstead” (with outbuildings), noun use of neut. sing. of villaticus “having to do with a farmstead or villa,” from villa “country house” (see villa)” with Villa coming from from PIE *weik- “clan” (cf. Skt. vesah “house,” vit “dwelling, house, settlement;” Avestan vis “house, village, clan;”

So “village” is one of our most ancient words and it should mean a group of dwellings occupied by people who are related to each other and who relate to the surrounding land. The design for the London 2012 Olympic Village looks as though it might be in the valley of the Yellow River, providing modern blocks for groups of workers who no longer have any cultural or horticultural connection to the land on which they live.  Where are the sustainable green roofs on the Olympic ‘Village’? Or do they plan to build a new Pruitt-Igoe in London?

4 thoughts on “London 2012 Olympic Village: Landscape & Garden

  1. Christine

    Students at TCU talking ‘green roofs’. [ ] It seems green roofs are still very ‘new’ [ in the North America. ]

    The UK has followed the German model of green roofs. [ ] Perhaps the CGI are being conservative in their design approach? [ ]

    Or perhaps it is a matter of $’s and who will be responsible for the roof gardens after the Olympics? [ ]

  2. Tom Turner Post author

    Of course $$$ and £££ should be calculated but an Olympic Project should be MORE than this and MORE than sport. It should also be a cultural project – demonstrating how to inspire people by doing new things in better ways. Just hoiking up a few blocks is not good enough, in my view.

  3. Tom Turner Post author

    They should not be thinking about a ‘cultural dollar’. As in Olympia and Delphi, there should be a full integration of art with athleticism and of architecture with landscape. What is the point of developing the body without developing the soul?


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