To convey the might and prestige of their empire, the Romans constructed enduring architecture as symbols of their long-lasting reign. Emperors employed grand public works as assertions of their status and reputation. Conversely, Japanese architecture has long embraced ideas of change and renewal, evident in the ritualistic rebuilding of Shinto shrines. A practice, known as shikinen sengu, is observed at Ise Jingu, where the shrine is purposefully dismantled and reconstructed every twenty years. Across the world, philosophies around permanence and impermanence pervaded architectural traditions. Amidst the climate crisis, how do these tenets apply to modern architectural design?
Olympics: The Latest Architecture and News
Local governor Toyohito Ikeda of Takamatsu, in Japan, announced that the famous Kagawa Gymnasium will be demolished. Built between 1961 and 1964 by the Pritzker Prize winner Kenzo Tange, the structure is a landmark of the modernist post-war era in Japan. This news has sparked the creation of a petition in an effort to save this 47-year-old monument.
David Chipperfield Architects Berlin and Arup have unveiled the design of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games arena. The structure will sit in the core of Milano Santa Giulia, a new urban district currently under redevelopment in the south-east of Milan. The new arena will house sports and cultural events with up to 16,000 visitors, and offer individuals of all demographics a vast outdoor area that promotes social gatherings and recreational activities.
Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games have officially opened on February 4, 2022. The Winter Olympics made a brave move by adding two snow zones in Zhangjiakou and Yanqing to the ice zone in Beijing, creating an unprecedented three-zone system for the Winter Olympics.
Architectural Design & Research Institute of Tsinghua University (THAD), has led the planning and architectural design of the whole and all venues in Zhangjiakou Zone and Shougang Venue in Beijing Zone. Planning and Venue design for Yanqing Zone was elaborated by the China Architectural Design & Research Group. Chinese architects took the initiative to create while serving the principle of sustainable development and closely integrating architectural planning methodologies and architectural design during the approximately six-year construction cycle. They proposed the design framework of "full-scale spatial intervention" based on the "General Plan, Regulatory Plan, Urban Design, Architecture Design and Equipment System Design," completing the Chinese practice of sustainable Winter Olympics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Laurian Ghinitoiu Captures Visitors' Delight at Asif Khan and Hyundai's Interactive Olympic Pavilion
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.