When the day it was announced that London will be hosting the 2012 Olympics, everything seemed so exciting and it appeared that the capital would be creating a new attraction for the world to see soon after the games were over. Furthermore, it was set to regenerate the East End of London.
Today was my first time to visiting the site and it was not how I would it expect it to be. The main purpose was to explore the ArcelorMittal Orbit and to understand the space around the grounds. Even before arriving at the sculpture, the area was half developed. I was also surprised by how empty Pudding Mill Lane station was especially since it is the main station to get access the park.
Constructions and deconstructions were being done as soon as you exit the station. Once at the park, the space was empty, completely opposite of the atmosphere that was in 2012. It seems most people were attracted to the shopping centre, Westfields. Although this shows what type of society we are, visiting a shopping centre as though it is an grand place, Westfields is probably more exciting than the Olympic Park. It is disappointing to see Stratford at this moment, as we seem to forget what and who was here before all this. The old shopping centre is a reflection of what Stratford once was. Mostly used by the locals of a multicultural working class background, the centre still has shoppers everyday. You can see a difference in social classes. Stratford has probably never seen people dress up to shop.
But going back to the Olympic Park, the admission fee to go up the sculpture was at an expensive cost even with a student discount that the group had to persist for. From the ground, I did not see a point of going up the Orbit. The purpose is to observe the landscape or cityscape across Stratford and the rest of London, but the reality is, is that there would be nothing spectacular to see, as the area is empty and uncompleted. If you compare this to other London attractions, such as the London Eye, you can see why the space is significant to attract visitors.
The aquatics centre had greater life because it is actually has a purpose, which is the problem. The Olympic stadium is due to be reopened and be the home of West Ham football club. So perhaps after then, the park will be brought to everyone’s attention.And perhaps in 4 or 5 years, all the attractions might become popular to Londoners and tourists.
No Author. (n.d). ARCELORMITTAL ORBIT. Available: http://queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk/the-park/attractions/arcelormittal-orbit. Last accessed 23rd Feb 2016.
Wilkinson, T. (2014). Olympic afterlife: the real legacy of the London Games for Stratford. Available: http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/aug/08/london-olympic-games-legacy-stratford. Last accessed 23rd Feb 2016.