Colourful banners and bunting is set to go on display across the city from today as the capital begins its final preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has announced.
Following the spectacular Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the eyes of the world are fixed firmly upon London, which is gearing up to get a great new look as boroughs begin to decorate their town centres, high-streets, squares, railway stations and other landmark locations with banners, bunting and more.
The Mayor has also revealed details of some specially commissioned eye-catching architectural installations designed to surprise and inspire people during Games-time, including giant shot-putts and javelins, plus interactive attractions as part of his city-wide ‘Look and Celebration’ programme, which will see dozens of free cultural events taking place in every London borough.
More than 6,000 colourful lamppost banners, almost 25 kilometres of bunting - equivalent to more than 2,000 Routemaster buses - and 638sq metres of building decorations will be on display all over London by Games time. The first decorations have gone up in Stratford in the host borough of Newham and will be followed by communities across London over the next few weeks.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “With less than 50 days to go before the greatest show on earth I am delighted that London is getting spruced up to show why it's the best city in the world in which to live, visit and invest. The Diamond Jubilee showed just how fantastic the city can look during a celebration and the Games will offer another superb opportunity to capture people’s imaginations and make them feel part of this once in a lifetime event. Whether it’s the splash of colour from banners and bunting, or the surprise of giant ambient javelins or tea-making machines, London will be an enchanting place to be this summer like no other.”
Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: “We are about to find out what it feels like to be an Olympic City and it’s going to be very special indeed. London’s reputation as a global destination is already assured, but with the Mayor’s fantastic scheme to dress London this summer I believe people around the UK and around the world will look at our city and say ‘I want to be there’.”
The Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, said: "This year is set to be an amazing and special time in Newham's history. It's important that we grab this opportunity with both hands and show the rest of the world that our borough will be the place to be in 2012."
Key architectural installation plans for the Mayor’s Look and Celebration programme include:
• ‘Gifts from the Gods’ – in recognition of the Games’ ancient Greek heritage, giant replica shot-puts and javelins will appear at more than a dozen locations across the city.
• ‘Universal Tea Machine’ – a giant tea making machine at Victoria Park that will allow people to choose the component ingredients for the perfect cup of tea.
• ‘Alga(e)zebo – a large, decorative and plant-filled canopy that facilitates the production of bio-fuel from algae and cyanobacteria in Euston Square.
• ‘Streetscape Carousels’ – cylindrical, revolving pavilions with laser cut stylised skylines that showcase the landscape and buildings of different parts of the capital using light and shadow.
• ‘Song Board’ – a multi-sensory interactive wall installation at Kings Cross station that will allow people to create patterns and sounds by turning black and white spheres.
Notes to editors:
- The Mayor of London is hosting a huge programme of free events and celebrations to add to the excitement of 2012, including ones especially commissioned for a citywide programme of free events that will add to and complement the London 2012 Festival.
- They include Secrets Hidden London, with artists and performers transforming hidden and lesser known locations; Showtime, an outdoor arts festival in high streets, parks and open spaces around the capital; and BT London Live, bringing live action from the Games, as well as sporting activities and entertainment to Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square. To be the first to know what's happening, sign up or follow us at www.molpresents.com www.facebook.com/mayoroflondonpresents and www.twitter.com/molpresents
- The Mayor has given a £50k grant funding to help each and every borough look its best during the Games. This budget has allowed local authorities to purchase Olympic and Paralympic dressing through the 2012 ‘Look Book’.
- Some of the projects outlined above are conceptual plans (subject to approval by borough planning committees) designed by students from leading London academic institutions, commissioned by the GLA.
- Following a call for submissions, installations from London Met, UCL Bartlett School of Architecture, Westminster University and Central Saint Martin's were funded by the GLA to showcase design talent and promote London as a world-class design capital.