Designing for Champions - great Olympic architects and engineers finally recognised in new film

Years of intensive architectural and structural design expertise resulted in the breath-taking buildings and structures created for the London 2012 Olympics. Now the firms and individuals, who helped to shape a lifelong legacy in aid of the 2012 Games, many of whom were unsung heroes, have been celebrated in a short film (8 minutes) aptly named ‘Designing for Champions’ and screened for the first time today.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) and New London Architecture (NLA) initiated the DROPTHEBAN campaign and commissioned the ‘Designing for Champions’ film to advocate many of the Games’ unsung heroes. The DROPTHEBAN campaign which launched in July 2012 called for the lifting of a marketing ban that prevented many firms from promoting their work on the London 2012 Olympics. The campaign emphasised the frustration felt by those left ‘gagged’ by the barriers holding back a tremendous opportunity to showcase their contribution.

Designing for Champions was premiered in London at Ecobuild today (Tuesday 5 March at 11am) and will be shown in Cannes on Tuesday 12 March at 4.50pm on the London stand of the international property event, Mipim.

Designing for Champions instigated by RIBA President Angela Brady, with the help of partners John Nolan (IStructE), Peter Murray (NLA) and Kevin Owens (formerly at LOCOG), was mainly filmed on location at the Olympic Park in September 2012 during the Paralympic Games and highlights one permanent and five temporary buildings and interviews their exceptional architects, structural engineers and designers including:

  • The Cauldron by Thomas Heatherwick – designer
  • Beatbox by Asif Khan architect  and Paul Scott structural engineer of AKTII Structural and Civil Engineers
  • Acoustic Stage by Jason Flanagan architect of BFLS architects
  • Basketball Arena by Jim Eyre of Wilkinson Eyre Architects and Matthew Ace of Fenton Holloway structural and civil engineers
  • London 2012 Velodrome with Mike Taylor Architect of Hopkins Architects and Andrew Weir of Expedition structural and civil engineers

Speaking about the film RIBA President Angela Brady said:

'I am delighted that we were able to access the Olympic Park site to make this film and to shout about the amazing contribution made by so many architects, structural engineers and design teams which created the most memorable, innovative and sustainable Olympics to date.

'The majority of the architects, structural engineers and designers featured in the film were gagged by a ridiculous marketing ban preventing them from promoting their work, and only recently lifted by the government six months after the Games started. I am delighted this film gives many key people the recognition they deserve.

'This film is a snapshot of the 52 interviews we recorded which we hope to feature in a 1 hour documentary to include the transformation of the Olympic Park into legacy mode to benefit the local community. Our filming is an archive documenting a great achievement, which would not have been recorded without the success of our DROPTHEBAN campaign.'

The RIBA, IStructE and NLA will host a special ‘Designing for Champions’ Design Awards ceremony on Tuesday 23rd July 2013 from 6.30 -10pm at the RIBA. One year on from the Games, this event will give credit to the incredible contribution made by architects, structural and civil engineers, landscapers and designers.

Designing for Champions can be viewed exclusively now at


Notes to editors

  • For further press information contact or 020 7307 3662
  • Designing for Champions is sponsored by the RIBA, IStructE and NLA and will be part of the GREAT Britain campaign and supported by UKTI
  • Designing for Champions was made by Palio Films; Photographs by Agnese Sanvito
  • The RIBA is lead supporter of Ecobuild the world’s biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment
  • Search Twitter: #Droptheban  #DesigningforChampions @AngelaBradyRIBA