7 Stunning Examples Of Sports Architecture

by | 20. Oct 2014


The Watercube. Photo courtesy Chris Bosse

Whether you’re at a soccer game or a tennis match, the architecture plays a major role in how you experience the sport. It’s what frames the suspense, the tension and the excitement.

The expectations leading up to and during any Olympics is not focused solely on the sporting events, but also on the new state-of-the-art arenas that are being constructed to host the event. The visitors expect a spectacle – and not just from the sports and the athletics but implicitly also from the structures that surround the activities. The host cities are competing fiercely to outmatch eachother in ambition and technological capability. Notable examples of this was the characteristic trussed arches of Santiago Calatrava’s  Olympic Sport Complex made for the 2004 Athens Olympics, the innovative grid structures of both the Bird’s Nest by Herzog & de Meuron and the Watercube by PTW for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Remarkable sport facilities is not limited to what’s being constructed for the large-scale sports events. Eduardo Souto de Moura’s muscular Braga Stadium is dramatically suspended from a cliffside and the swooping shape of Zaha Hadid’s  Bergisel Ski Jump underscores the daring elegance of the sport.

See more examples of fascinating sports architecture around the world on the list below.

Olympic Velodrome and Swimmingpool by Dominique Perrault in Berlin, Germany. Top view Photo courtesy Dominique Perrault Architecte Olympic Velodrome and Swimmingpool
Dominique Perrault
Berlin, Germany
Athens Olympic Sports Complex
Santiago Calatrava
Athens, Greece
Beijing, China
Big Eye Stadium
Kisho Kurokawa
Oita City, Japan
  Bergisel Ski Jump
Zaha Hadid Architects
Bergisel Mountain, Austria
Ice Sports Center in Vienna, Austria, by Berger + Parkkinen Street view Photo courtesy Berger + Parkkinen Ice Sports Center
Berger + Parkkinen
Vienna, Austria
Braga Stadium by Eduardo Souto de Moura in Braga, Portugal. Exterior. Photo © Carlos Coutinho Braga Stadium
Eduardo Souto de Moura
Braga, Portugal