Beijing National Stadium (Bird’s Nest), Beijing 2008

Located at the Olympic Green in Beijing, China, the stadium costs US$428 million. The design was awarded to a submission from the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and was designed for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The design, which imbued by the study of Chinese ceramics, implemented steel beams in order to hide supports for the retractable roof; making the structure appear like a bird’s nest. Leading Chinese artist Ai Weiwei served as the artistic consultant on the project. Bird’s Nest will once again play host to athletes around the world for 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.

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Beijing National Aquatics Center (Water Cube), Beijing 2008

The Water Cube is an aquatics center constructed alongside Beijing National Stadium in the Olympic Green for the swimming competitions of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Its design was initiated by a team effort: the Chinese partners felt a square was more symbolic to Chinese culture and its relationship to the Bird’s Nest stadium, while the Sydney-based partners came up with the idea of covering the ‘cube’ with bubbles, symbolising water. Contextually the cube symbolises earth whilst the circle (represented by the stadium) represents heaven- making it a symbolic architectural design in China.

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Bolshoy Ice Dome, Sochi 2013

The 12,000-seat indoor arena was primarily built to host hockey competitions during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The exterior structure of the Ice Dome was designed to resemble a frozen ice droplet. It has also drawn comparisons to a Fabergé egg, due to the light-emitting diodes (LEDs) resembling the “jewel-encrusted surface” of the famous Russian art pieces. The roof of the dome is covered with aluminium panels and is decorated with 38,000 LED lights which illuminate outside the arena at night.

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London Aquatics Center, London 2012

The London Aquatics Center was modeled by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid in 2004 before London won the bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The centre was built opposite the Olympic Stadium on the opposite bank of the Waterworks River.

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London Velodrome, London 2012

The velodrome’s roof is designed to reflect the geometry of cycling as well as being lightweight and efficient reflecting a bike. There is also a 360-degree concourse level with windows allowing people views of the Olympic Park. The velodrome is energy efficient—rooflights reduce the need for artificial lights, and natural ventilation reduces the need for air condition. Rain water is also collected, which reduces the amount of water used from the municipal water system. Designer Ron Webb, who designed the velodrome tracks for the Sydney and Athens Games, was in charge of the design and installation of the track. The 250-metre track was made with 56 km of Siberian Pine and 350,000 nails.

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London Shooting Venue, London 2012

The London Shooting Venue accommodated the events in 10, 25 and 50-meter Sport Shooting during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. All three ranges were patterned in a crisp, white double curved membrane façade patterned with vibrantly colored openings, which also operate as tensioning nodes and ventilation intake and doorways at ground level. The fresh and light appearance of the buildings enhances the festive and celebrative character of the Olympic event.

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