The Olympic Legacies of Roma 1960 and Athens 2004

Laura Brown, Manuel Cresciani

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Olympic Buildings are designed to challenge Architectural and Structural archetypes; pressing the boundaries of form and material technology, and constructing iconic structures that serve both as a record of time and, according to legacy planning ideals, benefit the wider community. Whilst Architectural legacy is a critical concept, it is also an arduous construct both to define and appraise. According to Sebastian Coe, (Coe [4]) ‘legacy is probably nine-tenths of what the process is about: not just 16 days of Olympic sport’; but key researchers in the field have identified legacy as problematic, and there have been few conclusive studies evidencing and interpreting connections between Architectural design and legacy outcome. This paper presents a comparison between the legacies of two classic Olympiads, Rome 1960 and Athens 2004.

The different time distance between the two editions allows to assess how, and why Rome was a general success in terms of the current use of the sports venues after fifty-five years and why, conversely, Athens arenae lies in a forgotten state only after ten years. The present work is a contribution to the broader research (PhD) on the legacy of the European Olympiads form London 1948 to London 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of IASS Annual Symposia, IASS 2015 Amsterdam Symposium: Future Visions – Historical Spatial Structures
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2015
EventInternational Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Symposium (2016): Future Visions - Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 17 Aug 201520 Aug 2015


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