2012 London Olympics and Paralympics
It was important for us not to publicise this project until after the Olympics, as the event we were taking part in would not be complete until after even the Paralympics was finished.
Inflate was approached by Innovision to develop and produce an AirClad structure as the main security accreditation office outside St James Palace for what would become the Great British Creative embassy over the period of the Olympic and Paralympic games. This venue would be used to host the highest levels of dignitaries to meet and see the best of Creative Britain.
Creativity is one of the UK’s largest exports and in a time when the need to export has never been more important an event such as this is a perfect platform to flex the British creative muscle.
The need for the security accreditation office was essential, however the original proposal was to have a temporary framed marquee that you could see in any number of agricultural shows around the world. Surely this would not be good enough as the first impression to an exhibition championing the export of Creative Britain?
Innovision tirelessly worked for the AirClad structure to be included knowing that this would set the right tone to the opening of the show and also offer a fantastic platform for Inflate to demonstrate one of their new AirClad products.
As anyone will know working on the London 2012 projects was a challenge and this project was no exception. The location outside St James Palace has the highest level of security and working regulations we had ever experienced. That said all Police and security were totally professional as well as good humoured and fun to be around.
Inflate were challenged on site to ensure they worked within these and the surrounding buildings noise constraints, whilst all the time aiming to deliver a uniquely architectural temporary building into the centre of London.
Coupled with the on site demands were the pre-build demands of designing and detailing a bespoke structure that would be signed-off by all parties involved from planning through the royal office and to creative industry board itself. Some challenge, which at too many times appeared would be impossible to prevent from snapping. Through some miracle sign-off was given and we were faced with the (usual) shorter than anticipated lead time for final production design engineering and manufacture.
Well we would not be here now reading this if we had not achieved what we set out to do. We created a 1,500sq ft temporary structure as the security office for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
The AirClad system is an original modular design all conceived, developed and manufactured in the UK. The AirClad system triumphed here and demonstrated that it could compete at the highest levels of constraint and still come through with its integrity and creativity intact, thus ensuring all dignitaries would have a first impression to Creative Briton that would not be a marquee with balloons around the edges.
But there was something more with the 2012 Olympics. This was not just about winning medals and shouting about what makes Britain Great. This was about leaving a legacy. What was to happen to these structures after the great event? Who would benefit in the future?
Well our Airclad now has a new home in Manchester at the Soap Works on the quayside. There it is being used as a new media showroom for all to see in its new guise. The whole AirClad structure was designed on budget on time and completely re-used to perpetuate the legacy of the building.
To sum up, Inflate delivered a functional building, with the highest level of design to demonstrate true original creative talent in Great Britain and to leave a legacy from the Olympics by pouring creative spirit into the north of the UK.
In short Inflate triumphed in an Olympic Triathlon of its own.