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London 2012 Olympic Cauldron...


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To me that doesn't look like a construction in progress. I think that it's only a maintenance cabin or contains the motor for the elevator. And it also seems to contain lighting. However, you can see that piece already in this Flickr picture taken in February:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lastrounds/6924494917/

So it's nothing new, and for me clearly nothing related to the cauldron.

Even if there are only ten weeks left, we all still have to be patient. Remember: Torino didn't start the final assembly of its cauldron tower before the seven weeks mark. They used prebuilt parts and I'm sure London does the same now, just for the sake of keeping the look of the cauldron secret as long as possible.

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  • everything the London organisers have done for 2012 has been meticulously planned and executed from day 1 and so we can expect that Cauldron plans have also long been fully integrated into any associated suporting constructions.

It's entirely possible (and I think this is the case here) that London planned its cauldron before Boris knocked on Locog's front door with his intention to build what is now known as the Orbit. So I doubt the Orbit will be it.

But I do think we will know how the cauldron looks like before the opening ceremony, as has been the case since Salt Lake. The lighting may very will be a secret until the moment itself.

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To be perfectly honest I don't know about much about how the Orbit came to be except that Boris wanted it. But I do know that the level of detail and planning on London's part when it came to the Olympic stadium and its surrounding areas months if not years before anybody mentioned what came to be the Orbit was extremely extensive. And I'm willing to bet it included a cauldron.

And yes, the Orbit now stands close to the stadium, but it's hardly imposing from within the inner bowl. A flame on top of it - no matter how high they get it up - would feel like something on the distant periphery, not something of prominence like virtually all past cauldrons. I also trust London has enough taste to not clash the busy and loud design of the Orbit with a cauldron designed by Heatherwick.

It's mid-May. At this point four years ago the speculation about Beijing's cauldron ran the gamut from a hanging flaming bowl above the inner field to a giant rim of fire. That huge and mechanically ambitious cauldron had yet to begin construction. So I say patience.

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Also, to be frank, continuing to discuss the Orbit as a possible location for the cauldron is boring. It's just standing there. It's not really changing. They're not appearing to build anything on top of it.

But that's just me.

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It was pointed out that has been there for months. And it does not look like the base of anything. It also has no aesthetic and stylish value like you would expect a cauldron or at least its base to have.

Also, that latest photo posted shows that a cauldron / flame on top of the Orbit would be obstructed by the Orbit itself from within the stadium.

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If the Orbit was really complete, why then does this part of it look unfinished? A PR blunder? or a disguise for it's real purpose?

The Orbit is just really ugly. As people who've seen it in person and as its price would suggest, it's cheap and unfinished looking. That's all.

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Thats what people used to say about the Eiffel Tower. Have you seen the Eiffel Tower lit up at night? It looks amazing.

Well, there was NOTHING uglier before the Eiffel tower. Now, it's there; there are copies in Tokyo and Vegas. I doubt there will be copies of the Orbit anywhere in the civilized world soon.

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The Orbit is just really ugly. As people who've seen it in person and as its price would suggest, it's cheap and unfinished looking. That's all.

Exactly. It's hideous.

I still don't see how a cauldron would fit into the Orbit even if they wanted to squeeze one in. The flame, or at least the intense heat would affect the loop at the top of the structure. Putting a cauldron on top of the loop would be truly bizarre.

I really, really don't think the cauldron will be on the Orbit and I agree with those who say we need to be patient and wait and see.

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This discussion is getting a bit obsessive. In Vancouver we had the never-ending "The indoor cauldron will blow up the roof" discussion, in Beijing the "The cauldron will hang above the infield" discussion, and now in London the Orbit discussion. I guess no Olympic Games are complete without these fruitless cauldron discussions, eh?

Torino had one tower outside its Stadium which was the Cauldron Tower. Just seems very very odd and therefore highly unlikely to have two tall towers outside London's Stadium - possible yes, but why would you be so visually clumsy and have two towers if you are a meticulous like London organisers have been?

No, Torino had another (albeit smaller) tower outside its stadium -- some people here even speculated back then whether that tower would have the cauldron on top (look to the left):

49d2b_stadio_olimpico_98045099_a6f4040d2e.jpg

There is no way possible this close to the Games, a separate Cauldron tower could be higher than the Orbit Tower. A smalle shorter prefabricated one yes, but why would you deliberately upstage your own Cauldron tower by making it short-ass compared to what you have already planned, approved and constructed?

First of all, who said that the cauldron tower will be taller than the Orbit? And again: As long as the cauldron tower doesn't stand right beside the Orbit, the two structures won't clash visually at all. When the TV cameras and the eyes of the spectators focus on the Olympic Flame, they'll just see the Olympic Flame, and not the Orbit.

And in my opinion, it's illusory to believe that they will mix two structures designed by two different designers with totally different design concepts. There won't be a Heatherwick design put on a Kapoor design.

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After seeing what shoddy design the top pod is (looks like an industrial airport control tower), and the general 'horribleness' of the Orbit, I am no longer a fan of having the cauldron on top or anywhere near that thing. What's the next speculation now? I am beginning to bet my chips on a small/ medium cauldron being lit inside the stadium stage ala Sydney. Whether it will be moved outside or grow in size is still up in the air.

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The Cauldron will have been fully and naturally integrated into the design from Day 1 if it is indeed going to have its home on the Orbit - it won't be "squeezed in".

Many aspects of London 2012, especially it's logo and some venue designs, are very unique, contemporary and left of centre - offbeat if you like. The intention I think was to make many of these 2012 icons long remembered as uniquely London's.

So expect the unexpected with its main symbol, the Cauldron.

I for one, am not expecting the Cauldron to be anywhere but a very high and prominent position and for the moment, that messy looking unfinished new high section on top of its elevator shaft is number one suspect.

I cannot see how it can now be even inside the Stadium given the constraints and what is happening outside. But again, that doesn't mean its not going to be inside the Stadium either.

I wonder what the Bookies are taking odds on? A Cauldron tower inside or outside the stadium?

If it is on the Orbit, then it may not be on the top. I also wouldn't be worried that it's final position will affect the metal loop or any other structural component. They organisers and engineers will be way ahead of us on that.

The range of creative, technological and theatrical capabilities that are available to Olympic organisers and Cauldron designers and engineers these days must be astounding.

We haven't seen the Orbit in Olympic-mode lit up at night time. I think it will look a hell of a lot better than it does not currently in the cold light of day.

Add the far reaching glow of an Olympic flame from a ground breaking beacon Cauldron integrated into an incredibly lit Orbit Tower, and the whole package could well turn out to be Heatherwick's and LOCOG's finest hour.

I like your argument on the Orbit, it does make sense. But someone here mentioned it's either Heatherwick or the Kapoor/ Balmond. Not both.For example the last thing you would imagine is Heatherwick's design perched on top of Hadid's Aquatics Centre. Why create such rivalry if it's not intended as a collaboration in the first place?

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I can visualize a small-scale cauldron that won't compete with the orbit, and Boris probably ruined the plan of a tower to the north of the stadium (The one from the planning pdf that's been around for years) ever since introducing his orbit to the park. I can't see the area above the elevator shaft on the tower as a place for the cauldron either, as Heatherwick's design won't be able to be seen properly or appreciated. The orbit may even be a distraction, as not everyone will know that Heatherwick is behind the actual design and the orbit is the next most obvious thing to house the cauldron. That being said I think the orbit would make a very interesting lighting sequence with all the twists and spirals so they might go down the 'nice and pretty' lighting route, therefore Heatherwick might add something clever to the orbit. I'm not gunna stick around on this thread for much longer now anyways as I want to be surprised. I think it's only a matter of time until proper clues and hints start to show up (Excluding the orbit).

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The Cauldron will have been fully and naturally integrated into the design from Day 1 if it is indeed going to have its home on the Orbit - it won't be "squeezed in".

Many aspects of London 2012, especially it's logo and some venue designs, are very unique, contemporary and left of centre - offbeat if you like. The intention I think was to make many of these 2012 icons long remembered as uniquely London's.

So expect the unexpected with its main symbol, the Cauldron.

I for one, am not expecting the Cauldron to be anywhere but a very high and prominent position and for the moment, that messy looking unfinished new high section on top of its elevator shaft is number one suspect.

I cannot see how it can now be even inside the Stadium given the constraints and what is happening outside. But again, that doesn't mean its not going to be inside the Stadium either.

I wonder what the Bookies are taking odds on? A Cauldron tower inside or outside the stadium?

If it is on the Orbit, then it may not be on the top. I also wouldn't be worried that it's final position will affect the metal loop or any other structural component. The organisers and engineers will be way ahead of us on that.

The range of creative, technological and theatrical capabilities that are available to Olympic organisers and Cauldron designers and engineers these days must be astounding.

We haven't seen the Orbit in Olympic-mode lit up at night time. I think it will look a hell of a lot better than it does not currently in the cold light of day.

Add the far reaching glow of an Olympic flame from a ground breaking beacon Cauldron integrated into an incredibly lit Orbit Tower, and the whole package could well turn out to be Heatherwick's and LOCOG's finest hour.

Obviously the cauldron wouldn't be an afterthought. My point is that there is no good place on the Orbit for a cauldron. You can say it was always designed to work with the Orbit, but how? The Orbit is ugly on its own. Any introduction of flame is going to be totally haphazard and out of place.

I see no way the Orbit could've been designed with a cauldron in mind. I see no chance of Heatherwick working with that hideous tower.

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The fact that the Orbit was ever ok'ed and built surely means that enough important people didn't think it was ugly. It's all subjective after all.

I've made this point myself, but I don't think the strongest point against the Orbit are its look / how it would clash with a cauldron / the unlikeliness of Heatherwick working with it. Rather, I think the strongest case against it is that a flame on top of it wouldn't feel prominent at all from within the stadium and the Orbit's own damn loop would obstruct the flame not only from stadium spectators, but from the rest of the Olympic Park as well.

It's funny that somebody brought up "BC PLACE WILL BLOW UP WITH AN INDOOR CAULDRON." This Orbit discussion is certainty starting to feel like that haha

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I hear you Kev. But how certain are we that such a design collaboration between Heatherwick and Kapoor/Balmond has not always been in place from day one?

Pretty certain.

There was a design competition held for the viewing tower and the Orbit was the one chosen from a final shortlist of three. The competition was run by the Mayor in conjunction with Mittal who is funding the bulk of the tower. I don't think LOCOG had a lot to do with it. On that note, I want to bring up your post in which you say the notion that the "Lord Mayor" would force this on LOCOG is "ridiculous". Thing is, everything I've read and heard suggest this was an unwanted distraction for Olympic organisers, that the ODA were very worried they could be knocked off course if the Mayor became to transfixed with this idea, that the Olympic project was big enough and complicated enough without it. Of course Boris got the ODA and LOCOG on board but this is, nonetheless, still a very seperate project which just happens to be within the Park and I'm sure it's not a focus for LOCOG.

You said earlier in this thread that the Orbit's viewing areas would not be open to the public until after the Games and wondered why that was. We now know, with the announcement of the ticket prices, that people will be climbing it during the Games. As DarJoLe has already pointed out, unless they've fireproofed every part of the structure, letting hundreds of people climb it would be crazy. One cauldron lighter in a controlled situation, sure, hundreds of members of the public? I find it pretty unlikely.

And the shots from inside the stadium do not show an imposing structure towering above the stadium roof. They show a structure barely above the floodlights of the stadium, whose top loop obscures everything. And the obscuring from this top loop becomes worse when you look at the structure from within the Park, from further north.

Also, as others have said, joining a Heatherwick strcuture to a Kappoor artwork seems unlikely at best.

You also ask why the structure looks unfinished. You say "there is no explanation for it looking so raw and unfinished and out of place as it currently does". I'm afraid there is and that's simply that it was done on the cheap and that aesthetic interest has been compromised by practical reality and health and safety (the stair cages, for example). CABE pointed this out as a possibility when they reviewed the structure prior to it going to planning, and their worries have been realised in lots of ways.

I think the evidence points to anything but the Orbit if I'm honest. What the alternative is, who knows? But just because there's no evidence of construction anywhere else yet (Torino shows this isn't a problem anyway) doesn't mean we should put as unlikely a scenario as the Orbit as our #1 suspect.

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Taking all opinions on board, I think the only way the orbit can co-exist with the cauldron is for the cauldron (bowl) to be attached to the very outer edge of a loop. It is fixed with minimal contact point to the loop edge, appearing to hover/ cantilever out of the loop. That way, the orbit loop is used as a supporting structure only, while giving the height the cauldron flame needed for visibility, without having to worry the orbit and cauldron design will clash. Something like a 'nest' perching precariously from a tree branch. It will definitely be visible to all and at the same time stay away from the mess of the orbit.

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The fact that the Orbit was ever ok'ed and built surely means that enough important people didn't think it was ugly. It's all subjective after all.

I've made this point myself, but I don't think the strongest point against the Orbit are its look / how it would clash with a cauldron / the unlikeliness of Heatherwick working with it. Rather, I think the strongest case against it is that a flame on top of it wouldn't feel prominent at all from within the stadium and the Orbit's own damn loop would obstruct the flame not only from stadium spectators, but from the rest of the Olympic Park as well.

It's funny that somebody brought up "BC PLACE WILL BLOW UP WITH AN INDOOR CAULDRON." This Orbit discussion is certainty starting to feel like that haha

The number of people who like or dislike the Orbit is irrelevant. The fact remains that there is no good place to put a cauldron on that structure.

Taking all opinions on board, I think the only way the orbit can co-exist with the cauldron is for the cauldron (bowl) to be attached to the very outer edge of a loop. It is fixed with minimal contact point to the loop edge, appearing to hover/ cantilever out of the loop. That way, the orbit loop is used as a supporting structure only, while giving the height the cauldron flame needed for visibility, without having to worry the orbit and cauldron design will clash. Something like a 'nest' perching precariously from a tree branch. It will definitely be visible to all and at the same time stay away from the mess of the orbit.

I understand what you're saying, but I don't see it at all. Sticking a dish on a loop will look like an afterthought. It won't be integrated in the design. The cauldron would be relegated to the periphery. I can't see LOCOG choosing to do that. I can't see Heatherwick choosing to do that.

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