Hosting the Olympic Games is a great honour for the cities chosen and their respective countries. In addition to organising the huge amount of athletes and tourists arriving, hosting the competition means that large infrastructures must be built in which to hold the Olympic activities. This is a ranking of the five most impressive buildings constructed for the Olympic Games:
1. Beijing National Stadium – Beijing 2008
Also known as the Bird’s Nest, the Beijing National Stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies along with the athletics competitions of the 2008 Olympic Games. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron with the collaboration of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the building will be used once again for the 2022 Winter Games.
2. London Aquatics Centre – London 2012
This aquatics centre was designed by architect Zaha Hadid for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, becoming an architectural benchmark in that year’s Games. Its curving lines, reminiscent of water itself, are its most characteristic features. Furthermore, its use post-Olympic was already planned for in its construction, since the upper seating terraces—yellow in the picture—were removed after the close of the Olympics and replaced with large glass windows.
3. Montjuïc Communications Tower – Barcelona 1992
Few Olympic cities knew how to take advantage of the impact of the Olympic Games better than the capital of Catalonia. The competition marked a before and after for the city as well as Montjuïc mountain, the area where a large part of the sports facilities where built. Among them, although not exactly a sports facility, is the communications tower designed by the controversial Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, made to look like an athlete carrying an Olympic torch.
4. Olympiapark München – Munich 1972
The Olympic Games that took place in Munich bring to mind the sad memory of the 11 Israeli sportsmen killed at the hands of Palestinian terrorists. However, they also gave us the fantastic Olympiapark, an enormous park that hosted part of the competitions and which has become an attraction in and of itself. Designed by Frei Otto and Günther Behnisch, the roofs of the buildings look like membranes and today are used for sporting events and activities.
5. Olympic Arch – Turin 2006
The Winter Games also need majestic buildings and other structures if they are to take place. At almost 70 metres high, the Olympic Arch of Turin gave visibility to the footbridge that connected the Olympic Village with the competition areas close by. It was designed by Hugh Dutton and today is a symbol of the city.
These are only some of them, but every Olympic venue has impressing buildings. Go check them!
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