Today the Mayor of London Boris Johnson gave the order for spectacular Olympic Rings to be lowered into place on Tower Bridge, one of the planet’s most iconic landmarks, marking one month to go to the 2012 Games.
The Mayor, LOCOG chairman Seb Coe and the City of London Corporation’s Stuart Fraser, watched as the Rings - which weigh more than three tonnes and measure over 25 metres wide and 11.5 metres tall - moved into place above the Thames, forming the crowning glory of the ‘2012 Look’ that is transforming London for the Games.
The Rings will be brought to life by a new world-class, energy efficient lighting system which enables Tower Bridge’s lights to change in colour and intensity. An illuminating light show will take place on the historic bridge this evening to mark this final milestone on the road to the 2012 Games, giving spectators the opportunity for a preview of this incredible display of changing colour on this beloved landmark.
The Rings installed on the City of London Corporation’s Tower Bridge follow the installation of spectacular Olympic Rings at St Pancras International Station last year and most recently at Heathrow Airport, to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city for the duration of the Games. Giant Paralympic Agitos will replace the Rings on Tower Bridge for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The ambitious project has been made possible by award-winning event and brand experience agency innovision, who spent many months meticulously planning both the creation and installation of the Rings on one of London's most challenging heritage sites.
They are just one part of Mayor of London Presents, Boris Johnson's city-wide 'Look and Celebration' programme, which will touch every one of the capital's boroughs. The programme is packed with spectacular free events, shows and cultural treats, designed to show the world the very best the city has to offer. This electrifying mix of cultural events and entertainment, many presented with London 2012 Festival, includes Showtime, the biggest outdoor arts festival ever staged in the city; Secrets, bringing new artistic collaborations to unusual locations; specially designed Wenlock and Mandeville mascots; Jeremy Deller's inflatable Stonehenge popping up at different spots; and amazing one-off performances, such as Elizabeth Streb's athletic dancers.
During the Games, across London from Hungerford Bridge to London Bridge, each of London‘s famous bridges will also be lit up in a dazzling display of colour during the evenings and the giant mobile Olympic rings first seen in March will return to the river travelling up and down stream past its famous waterfront landmarks.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Glorious Tower Bridge is recognised the world over and, adorned with the famous Olympic Rings, is the perfect choice to showcase what London has to offer this summer. With just a month to go, we are making our final preparations and want to ensure each and every person in the capital gets a flavour of the celebrations and feels part of the Games.
“Our fantastic – and free – cultural festival will be springing up in every London borough, with more surprises over coming weeks so prepare to be delighted, wherever you are in the capital.”
Chair of LOCOG Seb Coe said: “The Olympic Rings are an iconic symbol, inspiring athletes and uniting people around the world. To athletes they represent the culmination of thousands of hours of training and reaching the highest level in sport. With one month to go to the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony these spectacular Rings on one of London’s most famous landmarks will excite and inspire residents and visitors in the capital.”
City of London Corporation’s elected Deputy Policy Chairman Stuart Fraser said: “The City of London Corporation’s city bridges charity provides Tower Bridge and four other London bridges at no cost to the tax-payer – thanks to the ancient tolls collected by our Bridge House Estates. The new lighting for Tower Bridge is the result of a very successful partnership that Mayor Boris has brokered between the City of London Corporation, GE and EDF, and it will ensure the grand old lady of the London skyline is seen at her best – not just this year – but for years to come.’’
NOTES to EDITORS
1. The production cost of the rings is £259,817 and estimated installation cost is around £53,000. All costs have been met from the £32 million Look and Celebration budget, which will see dozens of free cultural events taking place in every London borough
2. The Rings were manufactured in Yorkshire and went into production on March 16th 2012.
3. The Rings are attached to an aluminium grid which is 17 x 22m The modular construction of the grid means that most of the assembly can be dismantled & re-used after the event The Rings and Grid are primarily made from aluminium. The total weight of the whole assembly (Rings and Grid) is 13 tonnes
4. The new lighting on Tower Bridge has been installed thanks to an innovative funding deal reached between Mayor of London, bridge-owners the City of London Corporation, and London 2012 sponsors EDF and GE, at no cost to taxpayers. Londoners will enjoy benefits from the deal long after the Games, as the new lighting system will be in place for 25 years. In total 1,800 special energy-efficient LED lights have been fitted, along with 2,000 meters of energy-efficient LED linear lights, 5,000 meters of cable and 1,000 junction boxes. Final planning permission for the project was granted in November 2011.
5. The Mayor of London is supporting a huge programme of free events and cultural activities to add to the excitement of 2012. Working with outstanding international artists and world class cultural organisations this unprecedented Mayor of London Presents programme is taking place in every corner of the capital to add to and complement the London 2012 Festival. It includes Secrets: Hidden London, with artists and performers transforming hidden and lesser known locations; Showtime, the largest outdoor arts festival ever seen in the capital, with dozens of electrifying artists from the UK and abroad coming to every borough, in high streets, parks and town centres; BT London Live, bringing live action from the Games, as well as sporting activities and entertainment to Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square; and Surprises bringing pop-up performances and once in a lifetime experiences to locations familiar and unusual, above your heads and atop landmark buildings. To be the first to know what's happening in this Summer Like No Other , sign up or follow us at www.molpresents.com / www.facebook.com/mayoroflondonpresents / www.twitter.com/molpresents
6. 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’