Rio de Janeiro will be bustling with activity very quickly, beginning with the World Cup in 2012 to the Summer Olympics in 2016. Earlier, we shared AECOM’s winning master plan for the complex and it was recently announced that American golf architect Gil Hanse was chosen as the designer for the Rio 2016 Course. Hanse’s work has included major courses scattered around the country, from Boston to LA, and now he is bringing his talent to South America. This Olympics will mark the first time golf has been an official sport since the 1904 Games in St. Louis, and thus, Hanse has his work cut out for him in designing not only a top course, but also the first of its kind for such an event. After ousting Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam for the job, Hanse will team with pro-golfer Amy Alcott to design the course in the Barra da Tijuca part of Rio. “We will strive to produce a course that will maximize the benefits of the site while creating an identity that is in keeping with the natural terrain, vegetation and wildlife indigenous to what we believe will be transformed into a “picturesque” landscape which will make the people of Rio proud,” explained Hanse.
More about the course after the break.
A look through Hanse’s portfolio of courses and it becomes evident their tie with the natural setting to emphasize the sites’ varying beauty. The courses are not merely carved into the land but rather become a more abstract form of topography that is not necessarily a neatly manicured green lawn, but takes on the characteristics of the flowers and fauna in a sophisticated and sensitivie manner. ”Nature is a complex system subject to human influences and interpretation. We look to nature for inspiration, but have confidence that our golf courses are not merely a replication of nature but a work of art clearly reflecting human influence,” explained Hanse.
Construction for the course will begin in October and be completed in time for the Games. After the Olympics, the course will function as a public facilitiy.
“The traditions of the game and of its most artful designs have taught us so much, and it is within these traditions that we will seek to provide a joyful design that will reinforce in future generations the unique character of the courses upon which golf is played can be a singular experience in the world of sports,” explained Hanse.
As seen on LATimes.