You don’t have to be a sports fan to get sucked into the Olympics. We’ve been glued to our TV screens, Youtube, Twitter, and anywhere else we can catch a glimpse of the Olympics.
Because we’re so obsessed with the Olympics at the moment, we decided to take a look at what became of some Athletes’ Villages from past years. From dorms to mixed-use communities, most of the Villages continue to be used, often thanks to innovations in design and sustainability.
Calgary, 1988 Winter Olympic Games
When Calgary hosted the Winter Olympics over 25 years ago, five new buildings were constructed on the University of Calgary campus to house athletes from around the world. These buildings later became student residences.
The entire campus experienced a bit of a makeover thanks to the Olympics. The Olympic Oval continues to be used as a training centre for athletes from around the world, and the student union and Department of Kinesiology facilities also got a fresh new look.
Barcelona, 1992 Summer Olympic Games
The apartments that were used to house athletes and officials for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona were half sold before the games even started. The remaining apartments were sold over the next few years (albeit slowly due to the recession), with the last apartment sold in 1996. According to a study on the Village post-Games, many of the houses were bought by families with disabilities as the entire Village was created with accessibility in mind.
Sydney, 2000 Summer Olympic Games
For the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, Sydney built its Olympic Village in New South Wales, in the newly-transformed suburb of Newington. Similar to other Villages, the area was converted to hundreds of residential apartments after the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
More homes were built in the community after the Olympics and today Newington is completely occupied.
Like many Olympic Villages, this was built with a focus on sustainability. Solar panels grace the rooftops of every home in Newington to take advantage of the abundant sunshine. There’s also a dual water system in place, allowing for water to be cleaned and reused within the community.
Beijing, 2008 Summer Olympic Games
Beijing’s Olympic Village was built in the northern part of the city, a short distance from the Bird’s Nest stadium and the Water Cube. Thousands of guest rooms were built in 42 buildings in order to accommodate all the athletes and officials coming in from around the world.
The entire project was built to LEED Gold standards (a rarity in China), with a water-recycling system and the use of some solar-powered lighting.
The apartments were sold to the public, with some units sold before the games even began.
Vancouver, 2010 Winter Olympic Games
Vancouver’s Olympic Village is one of the greenest, keeping in line with Vancouver’s own personal city targets. The Village was designed to be Canada’s first LEED Gold community and a leader in energy efficiency with sustainable features like solar heating and green roofs.
The Village became a mixed-use, amenity-rich residential community, but things got complicated with the recession hitting just as construction was beginning. Vancouver was under some financial strain after the Olympics, but they are moving towards paying off the debt as they continue to sell the remaining condominiums. Deciding how to develop a few remaining parcels of empty land near the Village will be the next step.
London, 2012 Summer Olympic Games
Fresh in our minds is the London Summer Olympic Games – one of our favourites to date! The first residents of the now-refurbished Olympic Village started moving in in November 2013. Some of the rooms were converted into larger flats with as many as five bedrooms, some of which are owned with others available for rent on Get Living London.
New roads have been built, including Cheering Lane and Celebration Avenue. All of the new homes have also been built to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4, the highest level of energy efficiency for residential development.