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Commercial building: Past Olympic Games


How many of you are watching the Olympics? We all pay attention to the athletes and their amazing feats of skill and determination, but there’s another Olympic marvel to wonder over: the facilities. When you think about it, it’s amazing that countries will build countless structures for a very limited-time use. What happens to them once that gold medal luster has worn off?

National Geographic has a rundown of some past Games structures and their fates. For the commercial builders out there, how would knowing the building had a limited time use (or would need to be revamped for a different purpose very quickly) affect your building plans?

Here are a few of our favorites:

You can swim where Michael Phelps had eight winning races! The Beijing Water Cube is now a water park. Great re-use of space! It honors the original purpose of the building while allowing it to grow into something that is fun and useful for everyday people.

Here’s another Olympics re-use example, in reverse. The Memorial Coliseum in Los Angles has been around since the 1920s and used for the University of Southern California’s football team. For two separate Summer Olympics (1932 and 1984) the Coliseum was able to be temporarily re-purposed and then returned to its normal state.

This is a bit sad. Athens hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics, and it was beautiful. Unfortunately it appears the structures have fallen into disuse and disrepair. Pictured above is the Olympics Pavilion.

Builders: if you were in charge of building these structures, what suggestions would you have for their re-use?

Images courtesy of National Geographic.