Adaptable design in Olympic construction

Laura Alexandra Brown, Manuel Cresciani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose - The Olympic Games is the largest sporting mega event of its type, with deep cultural and historical roots. The event is short lived compared to the lifespan of the infrastructure required in host cities. The purpose of this paper is to examine models of adaptability in Olympic construction, using case studies in previous Olympic host cities of the Summer Olympic Games (Rome 1960, London 2012), to assess the impact of adaptability on future legacy.

Design/methodology/approach - A mixed methods approach (archival research, direct observation), was used in two case studies: Rome (Palazzetto dello Sport, Palazzo dello Sport), and London (London Olympic Velodrome, London Aquatics Centre). The case studies examined how adaptability was used in design to secure legacy.

Findings - In the selected case studies (Rome 1960, London 2012), adaptability has had a positive impact on the post-Games use of venues, all four of which remain in use today. However, there are multiple factors that contribute to post-Games legacy, and further research is necessary.

Research limitations/implications - Whilst some positive results were observed in this study, more research is necessary across a broader spectrum of sites and venues to make conclusive recommendations for architects designing for Mega Sporting events.

Social implications - The significance of this study to architectural practice, academia, and society is its potential to benefit future Olympic Games, International Olympic Committee policy, and be extended to other Mega Sporting events.

Originality/value - The originality of this research lies within its analysis of Olympic infrastructures and sustainability, of which there is a current lack of comparative studies in academic research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-416
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2017


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