The 2012 London Summer Olympics kicks off today, and all eyes are on the capital of tea and toast for Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle’s three-hour opening ceremony extravaganza that includes, according to our friends at HuffPost, Paul McCartney, cricket, and sheep. After reading a fascinating article about the Architecture Olympics, explaining International Olympic Committee founder Baron de Coubertin’s vision for “a global event that incorporated not only athletics but also art competitions, giving equal importance to works of architecture, painting, music, sculpture and literature,” we felt compelled to take an in-depth look at the stunning design afforded by the biannual competition.
Starting with a look at the most stunning stadiums constructed for this year’s events, and then going back in time to the striking simplicity of the first stadium in Greece, click through to check out the most beautiful Olympic architecture ever built. Then, nominate your favorite stadium in the comments below!
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After turning heads with their collaborative work on the “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Ai Weiwei and the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron were selected earlier this year to design the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, an honor that has previously been bestowed on the likes of Zaha Hadid, Oscar Niemeyer, Jean Nouvel, and Frank Gehry. In a departure from previous efforts, this year’s design includes a maze-like subterranean level that is meant to function almost like an archaeological dig, exploring the 11 pavilions that preceded it.
“So many Pavilions in so many different shapes and out of so many different materials have been conceived and built that we tried instinctively to sidestep the unavoidable problem of creating an object, a concrete shape,” they explain in the press release. “All of these foundations will now be uncovered and reconstructed. The old foundations form a jumble of convoluted lines, like a sewing pattern. A distinctive landscape emerges out of the reconstructed foundations which is unlike anything we could have invented; its form and shape is actually a serendipitous gift. The three-dimensional reality of this landscape is astonishing and it is also the perfect place to sit, stand, lie down or just look and be amazed.”
Click through to check out some photos from the press preview, and if you’re in London, head to Kensington Gardens beginning tomorrow to see their amazing work in person.
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Albert Pike, poet, Freemason, and Confederate man about town, astutely commented that “one man is equivalent to all Creation. One man is a World in miniature.” If one man represents the world than the roof over his head, and a mini version of that roof surely has some fundamental universal importance.
We love sensible and profound quotes as much as we love micro architecture, and in discovering Pritzker Prize winner Peter Zumthor’s strangely compelling large-scale models, we’ve found a new means to satisfy our obsession with little buildings. A study in micro representation, the model, as Zumthor explains, is the only way to consider the “atmosphere” of a space. Or, what we like to think of as the best way to design good vibes.
We invite you to get out some construction paper, a pair of scissors, and that old crafty standby, Elmer’s Glue, and be inspired to build your own mini proverbial universe. Made out of wacky materials like organic milk cartons, pepto bismol pink styrofoam and paper dinner napkins, click through to check out our roundup of remarkable models made by some of the world’s most important architects.
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Since launching back in 2000 with Zaha Hadid, the Serpentine Gallery’s annual pavilion series has featured work by some of the most noted architects in the industry — from Oscar Niemeyer to SANAA. Today it was announced that controversial Chinese artist Ai Weiwei will be reteaming with the Swiss architectural firm Herzog &… Read More
With the rise of starchitect culture in recent decades, there has been a subsequent rise in the number of museums designed by celebrity architects. (It was believed that if a big name was behind a building, it would attract more attention, and in turn, visitors. Makes sense.) Click through to check out 10 of the most eye-catching modern museums on the planet — including a few that are still currently in progress — and we think you’ll see why it works.
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