Cultural Olympiad village pops up in Piccadilly

Atelier [zero], a public artwork in Manchester's Piccadilly Basin designed to celebrate sport, culture and play, launches today.

The installation will house workshops, educational activities and residencies to engage a wide audience in the spirit of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Atelier [zero] has been supported by the Arts Council of England, along with CityCo, landowner Town Centre Securities and Piccadilly Partnership.

There will be rowing sessions on the basin, basketball, new sporting activities and a chance to occupy Olympic village accommodation.

The commission, curated by Jane Anderson and directed by Karsten Huneck and Bernd Truempler of Office for Subversive Architecture, was the result of a design competition. The competitive process brought together architecture students from both Manchester School of Architecture (team Manchester) and École Spéciale d'Architecture (team Paris) in order to design and realise a project that embraces the International aspirations of the Olympic games while bringing a project to Manchester that would inspire play.

Prof Tom Jefferies, head of the Manchester School of Architecture, said: "The idea of Atelier is to curate urban space, connecting leading edge artists with internationally recognised Schools of Architecture in a project that is a prototype for critical engagement with the city.

This is a new model of multidisciplinary practice that directly affects how we use and understand space and place."

Atelier [zero] will launch on Friday 23 June and occupy the site until 2 September. Activities are available for all ages and all events are free.

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