Olympic Cauldron


The studio was invited by the organizing committee of the London 2 012 Olympic Games and Danny Boyle, creative director of the opening ceremony, to design the vessel for the fire that burns throughout the games, which is known as the Olympic cauldron. Rather than trying to reinvent the shape of a single bowl of flame mounted on a column, the team looked for an idea that would relate more directly to the phenomenon of the countries in the world gathering together in pursuit of sporting achievement and not squabbling with each other. Because the Olympic Games only last a few weeks, the studio decided to make a cauldron that would only exist during this time. The idea was that each country would bring a unique object to the ceremony and these pieces would come together and cooperate to form a cauldron. This idea was realised at the Olympic opening ceremony on 27 July 2012, when the 204 teams paraded into the stadium, each one led by an athlete carrying its national flag and a child carrying a different mysterious polished copper piece. As the ceremony progressed spectators saw the 204 copper elements arrayed on the ground and then watched while athletes ignited individual flames within them. When the last ones were alight, the flames began to lift gently upwards. During the next forty seconds, the individual flames rose in waves and converged in the darkened stadium before surging together into a single great flame of unity, a symbol of the peaceful gathering of nations. When the games ended the cauldron came apart again and each country took home their piece of it as a national memento of the event.


LOCOG – London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games


London, UK





Project Leader

Katerina Dionysopoulou

Studio team

Einar Blixhavn, James Darling, Hayley Henry, Neil Hubbard, Hannah Parker, Luke Plumbley, Jeff Powers, Andrew Taylor


Danny Boyle, Scott Buchanan and team, Contour Autocraft, Stephen Daldry, ES Devlin and team, FCT, Mark Fisher, Kim Gavin, Martin Green, Hamish Hamilton, Bradley Hemmings, Karl Hyde and team, Suttirat Larlarb, London 2012 Ceremonies Technical Team, Martyn Moore, Bill Morris,
Jenny Sealey and team, Tracey Seaward and team, Piers Shepperd, Rick Smith, Stage One
Robbie Williams Productions, Mark Tildesley, Catherine Ugwu, Patrick Woodroffe and team