The Athletes' Village has gone. Well, it's still there, but it's been refitted, replanted, repurposed, rebranded as East Village, and repostcoded as E20. The first residents will be welcomed in late summer.
The architecture is handsome, though few would describe it as beautiful. The parks and gardens are well crafted, with wending rivulets, areas of meadow and a bowl-shaped central park that looks ideal for outdoor entertainment. It's still a gestating estate, its community yet to be born, and its integration with Stratford, Leyton and Hackney yet to be tested. We'll be writing more on these aspects at a later date, but for now we're focussing on a question with tangible answers: what names will be given to the stones and slabs and tarmac of East Village?
One task of creating an estate from scratch is that you suddenly have a bevy of new roads and walkways to name. Well, it's all been decided, and the names are already on Bing Maps and Google Maps (although Street View is still barred). A quick glance shows that Olympic symbolism permeates the whole of E20.
Five roads reflect the five rings of the Olympic symbol
These roads are grouped together at the western end of East Village, though sadly not in an arrangement that reflects the famous symbol.
- Scarlet Close: red Olympic ring colour.
- Logan Close: blue Olympic ring colour. Named, poetically if tenuously, after the Logan sapphire.
- Napa Close: green Olympic ring colour. Named after Napa Valley.
- Sunrise Close: yellow Olympic ring colour.
- Ravens Walk: Black Olympic ring colour
Others mark the joy and spirit of hosting the Games
Generally found to the north-east of East Village, several locations remember the euphoria of London 2012.
- Honour Lea Avenue: the road runs towards the River Lea, and the honour is that of hosting the Games.
- Olympic Park Avenue: fairly self-explanatory, it's the road towards the Olympic Park.
- Celebration Avenue: the joy brought to area by the Games and legacy.
- Prize Walk: Close to the new academy, evoking achievement and winning.
- Cheering Lane: wahooo!
- Anthem Way: Evoking the national anthems of the Games.
- Liberty Bridge Road: evokes the values of freedom embodied in the Olympics and Paralympics.
- Elis Road: named after the location of the first Olympics in ancient Greece.
- Penny Brook Street: named after William Penny Brookes, who initiated the Wenlock Games, an inspiration for the Modern Olympics.
- De Coubertin Street: named after Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the International Olympic Committee.
- Glade Walk: relates to the character of the public realm — a quiet green walkway with trees.
- Ulysses Place: named after the Tennyson poem, the last line of which ("To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield") is engraved into the centre of the village.
Rather neatly, many of the buildings in East Village carry names that relate to the street they're on. For example, on Scarlet Close, each of the buildings has a rubicund name, with blocks called Sienna House (sienna is a shade of red), Amelia Mansions (a variety of strawberry), Zinnia Mansions (zinnia is an often-red flower), and so on. Elsewhere, buildings near the new Chobham Academy are named after bright stars and constellations, such as Vega House, Ursa Mansions and Carina House. Fun and games for anyone who enjoys a bit of wordplay.
East Village, its parks and roads will open to the public in a few week's time. For now, here are some further impressions of the estate from Ian Visits, who took the same tour as us.