Rio 2016; Samsung Galaxy Studio (UNStudio)

©Joana França
©Joana França


Ben van Berkel / UNStudio design the Samsung Galaxy Studio at Olympic Park for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Following an international competition to design the main Samsung showcase at the Olympic Park Pavilion, UNStudio was engaged to develop a design that builds on the brand’s history with the Olympic Games.

Samsung Electronics has been a Worldwide Olympic Sponsor in the Wireless Communications Equipment category since the Nagano 1988 Olympics. The design goal for the Samsumg Galaxy Studio was to develop an immersive visitor experience that incorporates pivotal design elements from the Samsung Galaxy brand philosophy.

The Galaxy Studio was specifically designed to help visitors embrace the excitement of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and celebrate the Olympic spirit, enabling them to create, capture and share their own experiences.


“The showcase exemplifies the theatre of multi-sensorial experiences that become possible when culture meets commerce. Providing an immersive retail experience that shifts from transaction to entertainment, the Samsung studio invites the visitor to experience the brand through storytelling and the simulation of real-world experiences. At once a theatre and a gallery, the pavilion demonstrates what we can look forward to in the future of retail.”

Ben van Berkel


The creative guidelines from Samsung Electronics called for a design that is clean and that uses simple lines, taking visual cues from the contemporary product lineup. As a result UNStudio developed a series of interpretative designs that aligned with the brand’s vision in 2016.


“The aspiration for the architecture was to facilitate a canvas for imbedded technology, interaction and memorable sensorial experiences for the visitors.”

Ben van Berkel



More info and photos after the break.


Unpacking Samsung

‘Unpacking Samsung’ was the thematic idea that influenced the simple articulation of the façade, with a subtle tilt in the framing of the entrance as a start to the visitor experience.
The shape of the exterior took this cue of ‘unpacking’ as a singular gesture that could allow for both a digital display which exemplified the digital environment within, in tandem with the composition of a reflective surface (through the use of obsidian glass) to mirror the famous colours of the Rio context.

The façade duality is a play of two realities in tandem, as well as one of inversion from day and night: the reflective surfaces from the day become transparent in the evening, allowing for clear visibility of the activities within.

With attendance at the Olympic Park anticipated to be near 70,000 during peak hours, the Samsung Galaxy Studio at Olympic Park was designed to facilitate 1000 visitors an hour during the height of the games.

Visitors to the showcase are concentrated through a more intimate entryway that opens up to a set of distinctly immersive experiences, organised around a prominent Gear VR 4D Experience that enables attendees to be absorbed into the distinctive virtual content created for this milestone event.

Six individual areas are devoted to various elements designed to deliver fun, unique and premium experiences, including a music zone, wearables zone, and a photography installation, amongst others.

The showcase is designed for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as intended to have a purpose after the games, with considerations for both reusability and repurposing of building elements. To this end, the main shell of the building was designed to be disassembled for repurposing or recycling.


Courtesy of UNStudio
Courtesy of UNStudio


Project details

Samsung Galaxy Studio at Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro, August 2016
Client: Samsung Electronics, IT & Mobile Division (Seoul, Korea)
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Building surface: 1200 sq.m
Building volume: 10000 cubic meters
Building site: 1000 sq.m
Programme: Main Samsung showcase at the Olympic Park, incorporating design elements from Samsung Galaxy brand philosophy. Main Exhibition Spaces include Product Experience Zone, Brand Experience Zone, Retail Sales Lounge, and VR 4D Experience
Status: Design Competition Winner, Construction Completed for Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Photos: ©Joana França

UNStudio: Ben van Berkel with Wouter de Jonge, Imola Bérczi and Aurélie Hsiao, Olga Kovrikova, Wing Tang Man

Overall Project Advisor: Cheil Worldwide


Photo Gallery