Two RIBA exhibitions celebrate Olympic designs and legacy buildings

Experience the new London 2012 venues and watch the action from the Games in the RIBA.s summer exhibition.  

Design Stories: The Architecture Behind 2012

25 June - 21 September 2012, Gallery 1, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1

Design Stories: The Architecture Behind 2012 provides a unique Olympic and Paralympic experience - a place where people can explore and view drawings, images, videos and amazingly detailed models of London's new key sporting venues.

The exhibition will draw back the layers of complex engineering and explore the raw ideas that inspired the architects involved. At its centre the exhibition will feature a stunning 14-metre graphic mural capturing the energy and contrasting styles of the new Olympic and Paralympic buildings.

As the Games begin the audiovisual element of the installation will transform into a live screening lounge providing an exceptional central London location to cheer on the record-breaking athletes and experience the stunning new venues they will compete in. Design Stories is part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June - 9 September 2012.

The London 2012 sporting venues and lead architects featured in the exhibition include:

  • Olympic stadium – by Populous
  • Aquatics centre – by Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Velodrome – Hopkins Architects
  • Basketball arena – Wilkinson Eyre
  •  Copper Box (handball) – MAKE
  • Riverbank arena (hockey) – Populous
  • Shooting, Paralympic shooting and Paralympic archery venue at Royal Artillery Barracks – Magma Architecture
  • Water polo arena – David Morley Architects

RIBA President Angela Brady said: 

'The RIBA is thrilled to be opening the doors of its magnificent Art Deco headquarters for the public to come and explore our exhibitions and watch the Games over the summer. At a time when the world is watching we want to celebrate the wonderful contribution that architects have made to the Olympic and Paralympic sporting venues. I encourage everyone to and come and see how London's great new buildings were conceived and created.'   

After the Party: The Legacy of Celebration

25 June - 5 October 2012, Gallery 2, RIBA, 66 Portland Place W1

London has embarked upon an ambitious building programme with new spaces and structures dedicated to marking this Olympic year, but how does this contemporary effort compare with celebrations past? What became of the monuments that we erected in the name of former Olympics, millennia, world fairs, victories in battle and expos? After the party, what happened to them and what could this be telling us about the London 2012 legacy?

This exhibition explores how celebratory events across time have left a legacy through the structures built for them. Drawing on the RIBA British Architectural Library collections, it examines the lasting social and urban impact of buildings created to celebrate a particular moment in time.

Notes to editors

For press enquires contact Beatrice Cooke in the RIBA press office, 020 7307 3813.

Admission to all exhibitions at 66 Portland Place is free. Galleries open Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm (Tuesdays until 10pm). Please note that early closures may occur for special events; call 0220 7580 5533 to check.

RIBA exhibitions at 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD: nearest tubes are Oxford Circus, Regent's Park and Great Portland Street.  

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members. Visit and Follow us on twitter for regular updates all things architecture  

About the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival:

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.

The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, from Midsummers Day on 21 June and running until the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012. The London 2012 Festival will celebrate the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world-class culture including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are the Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.

For more details on the programme and to sign up for information visit