The Athletes’ Village in Stratford developed for the 2012 London Olympic Games was built according to tried-and-tested Danish bricklaying traditions.
Designed by C.F. Møller Architects, the only Danish company among the 16 international architectural firms selected to design the Athletes’ Village, the 16,000 flats are now being converted into 2,800 new apartments for sale and rental.
Right from the outset, the London bid to host the Games was based on the desire to regenerate and provide enduring value. Sustainability was incorporated into every aspect of the Olympic project by ensuring energy efficiency, long-term durability and commercial sustainability to attract future residents and users after the event.
The project was handled by C.F. Møller’s London office, under the supervision of partner Julian Weyer.
C.F. Møller’s work is conspicuously located at the entrance to the East Village, on what was known during the Olympics as Plot N13. The housing development encircles a raised courtyard and consists of four contiguous buildings of varying heights ranging from nine to 14 storeys.
The initial plan was to build using pre-cast concrete panels, partly because the technology is considered advanced in the UK, and also because it would show the world that construction was progressing at a rapid pace. The architects however, wanted the homes to have a muted, but qualitatively strong idiom, which they believed could best be achieved with brick façades.
The coal-fired D71 bricks from Petersen TEGL were selected following comprehensive comparison of different bricks. Petersen’s coal-fired bricks not only perfectly matched the specification and concept but were expected to stand out as something special.
During the design stage, C.F. Møller used Danish technology that's unknown in the UK, where brick is usually treated like two-dimensional wallpaper. Working with brick texturally and three-dimensionally, the architects used pre-stressed elements produced at Petersen and covered with brick for the beams and window lintels. This development was considered avant-garde in the UK, whereas it is a pretty traditional technique in Denmark.