3 August 2012 – Czech House gets Gold!
The past 2 weeks in London has been truly inspiring and Islington hasn’t missed out on harnessing some of the Olympic spirit. For the duration of London 2012, the area of Islington was delighted to welcome the Czech Republic who took over the Business Design Centre (BDC) and created Czech House. Dominic Jones, Chief Executive, BDC commented “We were extremely excited to play our part in the Olympics by hosting the Czech House and worked with the organisers over 2 years to create and deliver what turned out to be an impeccably organised, wonderfully produced, exciting and, most importantly, fun 2 week event which had something for everyone to enjoy.”
On Saturday afternoon Chairman of the London Organising Committee, Lord Sebastian Coe paid an unscheduled visit to Czech House and was clearly impressed. He commented, “The Czech House is a fantastic place and the Czech Olympic Committee is to be commended for taking this bold step. You are all making this Olympics very special and for that you deserve thanks,“ said Lord Coe, not holding back with the superlatives in his remarks to the organisers and the venue.
It was reported that members of the Associated Press anonymously visited all the national houses in London over the Olympic period, AP journalist Jill Lawless commented, “The gold medal belongs to the Czech House, which has transformed an event venue in north London's Islington neighbourhood into a giant party playpen. We're talking indoor basketball, pool tables, foosball, a chill-out zone, plenty of Pilsner, DJs and even the Czech funk band Monkey Business one evening,..It’s fun and wacky!“
Those in Islington also couldn’t have failed to notice the amazing art installation on the BDC’s lower forecourt, located on Upper Street of the nearly full size double decker bus doing push ups. The installation, created by Czech artist David Cerny, brought a smile to all those who walked past it to hear the bus heaving as it did its exercises.
In addition to the ‘play areas’ there was also a television studio and a stage on which there were performers and DJs on each night. Not to mention the giant screens and bar areas set up for everyone to enjoy. Special guests over the 2 weeks included Sebastian Coe, Petr Čech, Tomáš Rosický, and, Colin Jackson.
Czech House in numbers:
Number of visitors (to 12.8.): 74,600
Record for one day: 6,700 (4.8.)
Number of visitors on opening day (27.7.): 5,000
Number of double-decker push-ups (from 24.7. to 11.8.): approx. 20,000
Number of guests on the main stage: 150
Number of beers pulled: 72 000
Number of portions of strudel: 6 200