Athens Olympic Sports Complex
The new Olympic Sports Complex will provide a permanent center for athletic and cultural events within an ecologically sustainable park-like setting, served by an upgraded transportation system.
The principal architectural interventions included a new roof for the Olympic Stadium, a new roof and refurbishing of the Velodrome, entrance plazas and entrance canopies for the complex as a whole, a central Plaza of the Nations, tree-lined boulevards, a pair of arcade structures reminiscent of the ancient agora. The design of a central Olympic Icon, and a sculptural Nations’ Wall.
The Olympic Stadium is covered with a roof of laminated glass, composed of a pair of bent “leaves,” capable of reflecting up to 90% of the sunlight.
The Velodrome roof structure is composed of two 45 metre high arches, weighing 4,000 tons, from which the glass and steel roof is hanging.
Four entrance plazas provides ceremonial access to the Complex. Each entrance gate is roofed with a vaulted steel canopy, which provides the public with a clear identifying element for the complex. When illuminated at night, these canopies serve both as orientation devices and as attractions in themselves.
Two of the plazas are located at opposite ends of a central circulation spine, which runs between the Olympic Stadium and the Velodrome. Another two, on the north side of the complex, lead from the Irinis Electric Railway Station and the Neratziotissa pedestrian bridge to one of the two covered Agoras.
The Nations Wall is a tubular steel wall sculpture, designed to move in a wavelike motion, creating a pleasing effect of light and shadow over the central circulation spine and the Plaza of the Nations. The Nations Wall can also serve as a giant video screen.
In addition, there are new warm-up areas for athletes, improvement of pedestrian bridges, connections to public transportation, parking areas and bus terminals, as well as the design of the installations and infrastructure for all elements. All structures have been designed so that they can be prefabricated off-piste in large measure, reducing the need for onsite personnel and equipment and minimizing interference with other construction work on the existing buildings.
The Olympic Icon is a movable steel sculpture in the form of a spindle. Mounted on an inclined steel pylon, the Icon can be rotated horizontally through a support point at the pylon’s top. The Icon will serve as a solar watch, casting its shadow on timelines marked on the pavement at its base.
All structures have been designed so that they can be prefabricated off-piste in large measure, reducing the need for onsite personnel and equipment and minimizing interference with other construction work on the existing buildings.
The Stadium roof covers a surface of some 25,000 square meters (269,098 square feet). The bearing structure of each leaf is comprised of double-tied arches made of tubular steel, which span 304 meters (997 feet) and rise to a height of 60 meters (197 feet).