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Olympics: The Latest Architecture and News

Renowned Japanese Architects and Artists Create A Series of Pavilions in Tokyo in Celebration of the Olympics

Accompanying the ongoing Olympics, Pavilion Tokyo 2021 invited Japanese architects and artists, including Kazuyo Sejima, Sou Fujimoto, Junya Ishigami and Yayoi Kusama, to envision nine temporary structures to be placed in various locations around the National Stadium designed by Kengo Kuma. The initiative showcases experimental interventions within the urban landscape that illustrate a playful take on public space. Also participating in the project are Terunobu Fujimori, Akihisa Hirata, Teppei Fujiwara, as well as artists Makoto Aida and Daito Manabe + Rhizomatiks.

Kokage-gumo by Junya Ishigami. Image © Shuji GotoCloud pavilion by Sou Fujimoto. Image © Shuji GotoTokyo Castle / Makoto Aida. Image © ToLoLo studioSTREET GARDEN THEATER / Teppei Fujiwara. Image © ToLoLo studio+ 17

SOM to Design Convertible Self-Sufficient Milan-Cortina Olympic Village

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was selected to design the Olympic Village for the 2026 Milan-Cortina Olympics following an international competition of 71 architecture studios from nine different countries. The project is part of the updated Porta Romana Railway Yard Master Plan, and will create a new center of activity in Porta Romana with minimal environmental impact. The self-sufficient project will feature residential, commercial, and public spaces, that change configurations based on the Olympics event.

© SOM | Pixelflakes© SOM | Pixelflakes© SOM | Pixelflakes© SOM+ 5

Japan National Stadium / Taisei Corporation + AZUSA SEKKEI + Kengo Kuma & Associates

© Taisei Corporation, Azusa Sekkei Co., Ltd. , Kengo Kuma and Associates Joint Venture© Taisei Corporation, Azusa Sekkei Co., Ltd. , Kengo Kuma and Associates Joint Venture© Taisei Corporation, Azusa Sekkei Co., Ltd. , Kengo Kuma and Associates Joint Venture© Taisei Corporation, Azusa Sekkei Co., Ltd. , Kengo Kuma and Associates Joint Venture+ 41

Olympic Urbanism: The Afterlife of Olympic Parks and Stadiums

Since their inception in 1896, modern-day Olympics have been regarded by hosting cities as an opportunity to project to the world a specific image of themselves, to subsidize large infrastructure projects, or to rapidly unfold redevelopment schemes. Past the frequently discussed eye-catching stadiums, there is a complex story of Olympic urbanism, which encompasses the large scale developments catalyzed by the event. Exploring the urban and architectural legacy of the Games, the success stories, the white elephants, and the administrative agendas, the following discusses what the Olympics leave behind in the hosting cities.

A Video Interview with 3XN Founder on Sustainable Design Principles

Louisiana Channel has released their latest video interview with 3XN founder Kim Herforth Nielsen, in which she reflects on the firm’s design for the Olympic House, the new headquarters for the International Olympic Committee, which is heralded as one of the world’s most sustainable buildings.

LPA Designs California's Largest Ice Skating Facility

Architecture and design firm LPA has designed California's largest ice skating facility in Irvine. Dubbed the Great Park Ice and Five Point Arena, the project combines the largest community ice complex in the region with a training facility for the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League (NHL). The $110 million project was designed around the vision of Ducks owners, Henry and Susan Samueli, to create a public resource that promotes ice sports, health and wellness.

Great Park Ice and Five Point Arena. Image Courtesy of LPAGreat Park Ice and Five Point Arena. Image Courtesy of LPAGreat Park Ice and Five Point Arena. Image Courtesy of LPAGreat Park Ice and Five Point Arena. Image Courtesy of LPA+ 5

AD Classics: Bergisel Ski Jump / Zaha Hadid Architects

This article was originally published on May 9, 2016. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

Situated on the peak of Bergisel Mountain above the picturesque alpine city of Innsbruck, Austria, the Bergisel Ski Jump represents the contemporary incarnation of a historic landmark. Designed by Zaha Hadid between 1999 and 2002, the Ski Jump is a study in formal expression: its sweeping lines and minimalist aesthetic create a sense of graceful, high-speed motion, reflecting the dynamic sensation of a ski jump in a monumental structure that stands above the historic center of Innsbruck and the mountain slopes around.

©  Helene BinetCourtesy of Zaha Hadid ArchitectsCourtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects©  Helene Binet+ 27

Cities are Avoiding Hosting the Olympics. They Shouldn’t.

The apple of every athlete's eye, the Olympic Games direct the gaze of the world onto one host city every two years, showcasing the best that sport has to offer across both summer and winter events. In a haze of feel-good anticipation, the general buzz around the city before during the four week stretch is palpable, with tourists, media and athletes alike generating contributing to the fervour. With almost an almost exclusively positive public response (the majority of Olympic bids are met with 70% approval or higher), the Games become an opportunity for a nation to showcases their culture and all it has to offer. At first glance, it's an opportunity you'd be a fool to miss.

Yet as the dust settles, these ‘lucky’ host cities are often left with structures that lack the relevance and function of their initial, fleeting lives. Empty aquatics centers, derelict running tracks and rarely-used stadiums have become as much a trademark of the Games as the Rings, with the structural maintenance and social implications burdening former hosts for years to come. In recent years, fewer cities have been taking part in the bidding process, suggesting that the impact of the Games is beginning to catch up with the excitement. As many as 12 cities contended for the honor of hosting the 2004 games; only two were put forward for 2024/28.

Courtesy of Redskins and CBS NewsCourtesy of SIC Mostovik© Laurian GhinitoiuCourtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects+ 11

Laurian Ghinitoiu Captures Visitors' Delight at Asif Khan and Hyundai's Interactive Olympic Pavilion

© Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

Earlier this month, the Winter Olympics was officially opened in South Korea. Laurian Ghinitiou visited PyeongChang to capture the celebrations and the festivities of the Winter Olympic Games. At the Olympic Park, he turned his lens towards the now-famous Vantablack VBx2 building designed by Hyundai and Asif Khan. The pavilion was conceived of as a "narrative" and everything from the facade to the five rooms within -- water, solar, electrolysis, hydrogen fuel stack and recreation of water -- were part of the story.

The unique experience starts from the initial encounter of the pitch-black building at the Olympic Park to the final room where water droplets ripple off the walls. The alluring black facade, for example, embodies the dearth of light in space, as well as the infinite possibilities of the universe. The universe is also the birth place of Hydrogen during the Big Bang and is where the narrative begins.

Hyundai chose to build the complex in the Olympic Park in order to reveal to visitors how Hydrogen energy is conceived, but the designers made sure this was not going to be purely a science experiment. Laurian Ghinitoiu captures how the pavilion is all about novelty, delight, and the visitor experience.

Check out the full series below:

© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu+ 31

Architecture as Experiential Marketing: The Surprisingly Bright Vantablack Olympic Pavilion in PyeongChang

Much has been said about the darkest building in the world, designed by Asif Khan, for Hyundai's Winter Olympic pavilion this year. What’s more surprising about this blackest-of-black pavilion is really how bright it is inside. The imposing facade of Vantablack VBx2 encloses a series of radiant, playful rooms and the entire project is part of a joint effort by Hyundai and Asif Khan to use architecture and design principles to bring delight to Olympic visitors in Pyeongchang this year.

© Kyungsub Shin© José Tomás Franco© José Tomás Franco© José Tomás Franco+ 39

Populous and Egis to Develop Plans for 38 Olympic Venues at 2024 Paris Games

Clarification Update 10/4/17: Populous and Egis were selected in 2016 to collaborate on the Paris 2024 bid; this news piece reflects the bid’s approval by the International Olympic Committee. However, the team to lead the next planning phase for Paris 2024 has yet to be decided. Stay tuned for further information.

The Paris 2024 Olympic bid, featuring planning for 38 Olympics and Paralympic venues across the city by the team of Populous and engineering consultants Egis, has received approval as part of the International Olympic Committee’s naming of the 2024 host city.

Paris and Los Angeles Selected as 2024 and 2028 Olympic Hosts

Paris and Los Angeles will become the next Olympic host cities, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted unanimously to approve a plan simultaneously awarding the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games to the competing cities.

Which city will host each year, however, is still on the table – the two bid cities and the IOC will have until a September 13 conference in Lima to reach an agreement. If they cannot agree, solely the 2024 Olympics will be awarded, though this outcome seems unlikely after recent collaborations by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Eiffel Tower. Image via Paris 2024Grand Palais - Fencing and Taekwondo. Image via Paris 2024Main Stadium - Future home of the NFL's LA Rams. Image Courtesy of LA 2024Downtown Sports Park - LA Football Club - Soccer. Image Courtesy of LA 2024+ 9

See the Proposed Sites of LA's 2024 Olympic Bid

As the race for the 2024 Olympics bid has been narrowed down to just two cities, the LA 2024 committee has revealed the latest plans for its bid. While the central appeal of Los Angeles would be its existing sports and transportation infrastructure (a key concern following the economic struggles of many recent host cities), the city would still see a comprehensive update of venues and several new structures.

Downtown Sports Park - LA Live Aerial. Image Courtesy of LA 2024Downtown Sports Park - Figueroa Corridor. Image Courtesy of LA 2024Downtown Sports Park - Marathon Finish - City Hall. Image Courtesy of LA 2024Downtown Sports Park - LA Convention Center - Table Tennis. Image Courtesy of LA 2024+ 25

99% Invisible Recalls the Unknown Arts Awards of the Olympic Games

London Olympic Stadium by Populous. Image © Morley von Sternberg
London Olympic Stadium by Populous. Image © Morley von Sternberg

We’ve all heard of the record-breaking times, longest distances and of course, winners of those coveted medals, but according to 99% Invisible there is a lesser-known Olympic Games honor participants have received: awards in architecture. In an article tracing the history of this bizarre tradition, Kurt Kohlstedt explores how medals were awarded to five categories of the arts during the Olympic Games, presented to participants alongside their sporting competitors.

ANSKA Unveils Floating Platform Design for Paris Olympics

ANSKA has unveiled Spots, a series of temporary floating platforms to host micro-events for the Paris Olympic Games of 2024. Intended as an alternative to classic river typologies like barges or heavy structures, Spots are modular systems that can easily be assembled or disassembled, allowing them to become durable programmatic solutions.

While Spots was designed for the Paris Olympics, where modules would be hooked to the riverbanks to create a complimentary route for the Games, facilitating a greater exploration of the city, the micro-typology of the project could be applied “to any river and city,” as well as to Parisian suburbs and industrial areas.


2016 Olympics: Two Legacies for Rio

Just over a week ago in beautiful Rio de Janeiro the Olympic Games, the world's largest sporting event, came to an end. The Games, as well as the FIFA World Cup, have been a driving force for the city over the last six and a half years. In the wake of the frenzy caused by the much-anticipated event, Rio will have the Paralympics, which will take place between the 7th and 18th of September. But then what?

The word "legacy" being associated with major world events is nothing new. We see it used a lot when referring to the Olympics and the World Cup, and it’s come up time and time again in recent years when we look at the lasting effects these events have had on host cities like Barcelona (1992), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and London (2012). Essentially, the issue revolves around some fundamental questions: Who are the major beneficiaries of the "legacy" of the Olympic Games? Were the huge public investments worth it? Will there be any improvement for the general population? Can the equipment that was built be adapted for everyday use?

Arena de Handebol e Golbol / Lopes Santos e Ferreira Gomes Arquitetos + OA | Oficina de Arquitetos © Leonardo FinottiParque Radical / Vigliecca & Associados © Gabriel HeusiArena da Juventude / Vigliecca & Associados © Leonardo FinottiAdaptação do Centro Nacional de Tiro Esportivo / Vigliecca & Associados © Gabriel Heusi+ 11

Penda Designs Bridge Inspired by Olympics Rings for 2022 Beijing Winter Games

Penda has designed a prestressed double-helix bridge spanning China’s Gui River that will become an integral part of the infrastructure system for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The San Shan Bridge, which translates to 3 Mountains Bridge, draws inspiration from the interlacing of five rings in the Olympic Symbol to create a form evocative of the area’s mountainous landscape.

Courtesy of PendaCourtesy of PendaCourtesy of PendaCourtesy of Penda+ 31

Open Call: Rio Olympics SUSTAINABLE FANBOX

The biggest sporting showdown of the world, Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games 2016, will commence in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil from August 5. Around 10,000 participants from 204 nations are expected to descend in Brazil, unleashing fierce competition and rivalries.

It is going to be a make or break event for the city of Rio de Janeiro, which has got the privilege of being the first South American city ever to host the Olympics games. It is estimated that around half a million fans and supporters are expected to grace the event in Rio, making it hard for the city officials to control the proceedings.