Creative architectures of the Summer Olympic Games: Design, construction, legacy

Laura Brown, Manuel Cresciani

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The exponential growth of the Summer Olympic Games over the 20th Century has had a profound impact on the size, scale, number and type of buildings required to successfully provide a stage for the events. Presenting an opportunity for cities to advance urban development and demonstrate modernity through creative and iconic contemporary architecture, Olympic constructions have become synonymous with RIBA Gold Medalists and Laureates of the Pritzker prize whose iconic and innovative buildings have pushed the boundaries of material, form and technology. The architecture of the Olympic Games has an important, tangible, direct and permanent impact in host cities. Whilst some buildings constructed for the Olympic Games remain well used for many years after the event, others quickly begin to demonstrate patterns of infrequent use or even abandonment. In recent decades, this has contributed to increasing legacy concerns. The specific nature and short-lived (primary) function of these buildings pose a major challenge to designers. Whilst it has been acknowledged by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that there should be clearer guidelines toward maximizing legacy, comparative studies to assess which aspects of architectural design and engineering facilitated positive legacies in previous host cities are lacking. Examining three case studies, Rome (1960), Barcelona (1992) and London (2012), this study seeks to identify the facets of architectural design and engineering that promote and facilitate the reuse of Olympic buildings for a successful post Games legacy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
EventInternational Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium (2018): Creativity in Structural Design - Massachusetts , Boston, United States
Duration: 16 Jul 201820 Jul 2018


ConferenceInternational Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium (2018)
Abbreviated titleIASS Syposium 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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