1. Themes
  2. A to Z

Olympic Village

An Australian innovation, the Olympic Village, built to house athletes competing in the 1956 Olympic Games, was designed as a series of 841 individual dwellings which could serve as future housing accommodation, rather than the barrack-like structures used in previous Olympics. Constructed in a garden setting in the area bounded by Southern Road, Oriel Road, Dougherty Road and Liberty Parade, Heidelberg West, the village included shops, restaurant and recreation hall, as well as large temporary buildings housing dining rooms, saunas and a bank. During the Games, the Village was home to almost 5000 athletes and officials from 57 nations. After the Games about 600 of the houses were allotted to the Housing Commission of Victoria, while the remainder were auctioned. In 1995 the State Government and Banyule City Council initiated an Urban Renewal and Revitalisation program, which transformed many houses that had fallen into disrepair. The Olympic rings over the entrance to the original Village were removed to a wall at Banksia Secondary College, while the primary school which opened in 1952 perpetuates the name.

Geoffrey Ballard

Ballard, Geoffrey, Nation with nation: The story of Olympic Village Heidelberg, Olympic Games Melbourne, 1956, Spectrum Publications, Melbourne, 1997. Details