As the Olympic games come to a close, the world has watched records shatter, countries win their first-ever medals and unknown debut athletes challenge Olympic veterans. The Olympics are about not only celebrating athletes and nations and the fire that drives fierce competition, but they are also about local communities and architecture. According to the Business Insider, the last two Olympiads (London 2012 and Sochi 2014) had an average cost of $16.2 billion. Often included in these costs are additions to (or creations of) mass transit systems, infrastructure rehabilitation and construction costs – not solely for the Olympic stadiums on television, but athlete villages, hotels, attractions for visitors and more.
For the city of Rio de Janerio and the country of Brazil, the road to the XXI Olympiad has been very bumpy. However, they are looking outside the "Olympic rings" and into how they can embrace sustainability, promising to re-purpose buildings and building products used in the temporary stadiums. And, the city has already topped the charts of “coolest” Olympic facilities in the world.
To participate in the Olympics as an athlete is a dream for many worldwide. But, if we can’t swim against Michael Phelps or work the parallel bars with the “Final Five,” we are pleased to contribute through “cool” architecture.
One such project is the Olympic Tennis Center. Built atop the famous Nelson Piquet International Autodrome, the center holds a main court, with about 10,000 seats surrounding it, and an additional 15 smaller courts with room for 3,000 to 5,000 seats. Once the Olympics end, the Center will become part of the training center used to coach future Brazilian athletes. Hunter Douglas Brazil has been involved in several other Olympic projects including the high-profile Olympic Velodrome located in Rio’s Barra da Tijuca, built to host track cycling and the Olympic Equestrian Center, as well as several hotels, transportation stations and shopping centers.
Though cutting it close to “game time,” all Olympic arenas are complete and the years it took to build them haven’t gone unnoticed. Check out a birds-eye-view of six Olympic stadiums from start to finish.
What have some of your favorite things been about these Olympic games? What are some of your favorite stadiums and arenas from past Olympiads?
Olympic Tennis Center image credits: Renato Sette Camara/ Prefeitura do Rio