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Sochi 2014 Olympics: The Latest Architecture and News

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

09:30 - 16 August, 2018
Cities are Avoiding Hosting the Olympics. They Shouldn’t., © Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

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 News Courtesy of SIC Mostovik © Laurian Ghinitoiu Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects + 11

If the Winter Olympics Were in NYC...

00:00 - 14 February, 2014
If the Winter Olympics Were in NYC..., © ANGEL FRANCO and RICHARD PERRY, via The New York Times
© ANGEL FRANCO and RICHARD PERRY, via The New York Times

The New York Times has run a fascinating thought experiment in rendered form: What would it look like if the winter Olympics were held in New York City? From luges through Times Square to ski jumps over Bryant park, the ideas are certainly fantastical - but also fun lessons in scale. See them all here.

Sochi 2014: Asif Khan Greets Spectators with "Architectural Mount Rushmore"

01:00 - 10 February, 2014
Sochi 2014: Asif Khan Greets Spectators with "Architectural Mount Rushmore" , Courtesy of Asif Khan Studio
Courtesy of Asif Khan Studio

The Olympics are in full swing and, although the "Coastal Cluster" of stadiums has attracted a considerable amount of attention, there is one installation demanding interaction from every spectator. Built at the entrance of Sochi's Olympic Park is Asif Khan Studio's "MegaFaces," a pavilion that "contorts itself to recreate 3D images of the faces of visitors relayed via digital face scans made in photo booths installed within the building."

Comprised of 11,000 actuators sitting underneath the cube's stretchy fabric membrane, the installation allows for three, eight meter tall faces to emerge from the wall at a time (the faces that emerge from the side of the pavilion are enlarged by 3500%). According to the designers, this feature of the building "has been likened to a giant pin screen and a digital, architectural Mount Rushmore."

The Stadiums of Sochi

00:00 - 7 February, 2014
The Stadiums of Sochi, Fisht Olympic Stadium / Populous. Image © 2014 XXII Winter Olympic Games
Fisht Olympic Stadium / Populous. Image © 2014 XXII Winter Olympic Games

The 2014 Winter Olympics has commenced in Sochi within the shell of Populous’ Fabergé egg-inspired stadium. Built solely to host the opening and closing ceremonies, the Fisht Olympic Stadium's translucent polycarbonate roof bears a slight resemblance to the nearby, snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains. Once the Games are complete, the stadium’s 40,000-seat capacity will be expanded to accommodate the 2018 FIFA World Cup, before retiring as a scaled-down, 25,000-seat home venue for the local football team.

Populous’ stadium is just one of eleven purpose-built venues within the “Coastal Cluster” Olympic park. Check out a few others that caught our eye, after the break...