London Airport Builds Garden for Olympic Athletes

  • August 16, 2012
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The challenge and magic of the Olympics doesn’t end with the competitions. In fact, for London’s Heathrow Airport it’s not over until all Olympians have safely taken off for their respective homes. To help cope with the masses, Heathrow Airport established a temporary new terminal—designed to resemble a London city park—on top of the staff carpark this week.

London Airport Builds Garden for Olympic Athletes
Photo courtesy of

Imagine: an area the size of three Olympic swimming pools covered in fake grass and decorated with plants, trees, park benches, and replicas of London’s iconic gas-powered street lamps. The walls were painted with a detailed mural of the London skyline.

Athletes were able to write farewell notes, sharing their favorite Olympic memory. The notes were hung on a big tree inside the terminal, and will remain in the airport as a reminder of the London games.

Heathrow typically sees about 95,000 passengers pass through its gates on an average day. But on Monday this week, when the majority of the Olympics athletes and visitors flew home, that number swelled to around 116,000. To avoid chaos on departure day, the BAA coordinated a mass pick-up of bags directly from the Olympic Village on Sunday night. More than 5,000 bags were collected, allowing athletes to proceed directly to boarding the following day.

Any predictions for what a Rio de Janeiro terminal design may look like for 2016?

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