Join us
Orange welcome sign that reads Royal Geographical Society with IBG.

Become a member and discover where geography can take you.

Join us
A cyclist in a union jack tunic riding a bicycle around a velodrome track

Olympic Park photos

All images are copyright of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) unless stated otherwise

The view south west from the Stratford Centre towards the site of the Olympic Aquatic Centre (foreground) and the development of the main Olympic stadium (background).

The Aquatic Centre will be the 'front door' to the Olympic Park. A land bridge will link Stratford Regional Station to the centre of the Park over the top of the Aquatic Centre. Twenty buildings have been demolished on this site to allow the construction work to begin.

Thirty three buildings have been demolished on the site of the Olympic stadium (for example, the warehouses in the background of the 2007 photo), and 600,000 tonnes of soil have been removed from the site to create a levelled, sunken platform for the bowl of the stadium. This soil is being washed to remove contaminants and will be reused for landscaping in other areas of the Olympic Park. In total, 96% of materials removed during the construction process will be recycled.

The photos show an increase in construction work activity, excavation and landscaping on the site, as well as the removal of some buildings. At the peak of the development process, there will be 9,000 construction workers on site. 40% of workers are currently from the local area, and in December 2007 a Construction College (nicknamed 'Digger School') opened to the north of the site. 

The view west from the Stratford Centre to the site of the proposed Stratford City development, south of Stratford International Station.

This £4 billion development on a 188 acre site which will provide 1.25 million m2 of retail, leisure and entertainment space, alongside offices, hotels, housing, community facilities and open space. There will be over 200 shops including John Lewis and Waitrose. The contractors for this project are the Westfield Group.

Development of the Stratford City site started in late 2007, and the photos show an increase in construction activity here. In addition, some electricity pylons have been removed. This is part of an ongoing project to relocate electricity cables underground. 200,000 cubic metres of soil have been removed to create two major power tunnels through the site, providing electricity for this and other areas of London. During the course of the games, it is planned that 20% of energy use should be from renewable sources. A wind turbine (nicknamed 'The Angel of Leyton') will be constructed to contribute to this scheme.

The view north west from the Stratford Centre towards Stratford International Station.

The Stratford Channel Tunnel rail link was completed in late 2007, reducing travel times between London and Paris to 2 hours 15 minutes, and to 2 hours between London and Brussels. Stratford International Station itself will open in 2009.

During the Olympic Games in 2012, Stratford will be served by 240 trains per hour, enabling 25,000 people to be moved to and from the area per hour. It will be possible to travel from Stratford to St Pancras in just seven minutes and to Ebbsfleet in Kent in just 12 minutes. The fast shuttle trains on this line will be called "Javelin trains", and they will be in operation only for the duration of the games.

As these photos show, the infrastructure for Stratford International Station has been in place for some time. On either side of the station, construction works are now being carried out for the Stratford City development (to the south) and the Olympic Village (to the north).

The view north west from the Stratford Centre towards the site of the Olympic Village.

A comparison of these two photos reveals that the two tower blocks of the University of East London's former halls of residence have been demolished, along with buildings adjacent to the railway line. In addition, residents of the Clay's Lane housing cooperative were relocated from this site. A traveller community of 35 families will be the last to be moved to a new site to the north of the Olympic Park over the coming weeks. In total, 193 businesses, 450 homes and an allotment site were relocated from the site.

The Olympic Village will house 17,000 athletes and officials during the course of the games. Afterwards, the area will be turned into a residential development of over 4,000 properties, around 30% of which will be classed as affordable housing.

To the north and west of the Olympic Village, work is underway to construct a velodrome and fencing hall, a multisports arena, a hockey centre, handball courts and a press centre. Some of these facilities are permanent, and will be scaled down but kept in situ after the games. Others will be relocated in other areas. The cities of Birmingham and Manchester have already successfully bid for some of the facilities.

File nameFiles

File type



Olympic Park Photos Clays Lane


3 MB

Olympic Park Photos Canning Town and Marshgate Lane


1 MB

Olympic Park Photos Olympic Park


1 MB

Download all files