2016 Year in Review; October, November & December

Rio 2016 has come to an end. All eyes are now on Pyeongchang and Tokyo.

Most read articles on Architecture of the Games

Events in October, November & December 2016

  • 7th Coordination Commission PyeongChang 2018
  • Coordination Commission Beijing 2022
  • 3rd Coordination Commission, Buenos Aires 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games
  • Rio 2016 Debriefing
  • 3rd Coordination Commision Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
  • IOC Executive Board meeting
  • PyeongChang 2018 Test events

Video: Adeus Parque, adeus Jogos!

2016 Year in Review; My top 10 of the Rio Olympics (Part 2)

Today I’ll continue with my top 10 list of Rio 2016. You can read part 1 here.


5. Copacabana Beach

August 16, 2016. Marathon Swimming. Photo: Martijn Giebels

The famous Copacabana beach hosted a few competitions. I’ve visited both the temporary beach volleyball venue and the triathlon/marathon-swimming venue. Watching sport with your feet in the sand/ocean and a cloudless sky is heaven on earth! (read more)


4. Maracanã Stadium

August 5, 2016. Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony in Maracanã. Photo: Martijn Giebels

One of the most impressive stadiums I have ever visited. Two enormous concrete ramps bring visitors to the five different levels. Once inside you can only realize how large this stadium is. The recent renovations haven’t compromised the atmosphere within. (read more)


3. Usain Bolt

August 14, 2016. Usain Bolt prepares himself for the 100m semi final. Photo: Martijn Giebels

I’m a great fan of Usain Bolt. And to be present in the stadium and to see him win his third consecutive Olympic 100m gold medal was for me one of the highlights of the Games. The atmosphere of excitement in the stadium hours before the start, followed by a moment of complete silence, and ending in an explosion of sound at the moment when Bolt crossed the finish line. This was an unforgettable evening. And Bolt is now a true Olympic legend!


2. Rio de Janeiro – Cidade Maravilhosa

Photos: Martijn Giebels


Cidade Maravilhosa
Cheia de encantos mil
Cidade Maravilhosa
Coração do Meu Brasil!

– Except of the lyrics of the song Cidade Maravilhosa by André Filho. Nowadays the anthem for the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Wonderful city
Full of thousand charms
Wonderful city
Heart of My Brazil!

Rio de Janeiro is probably the most beautifully situated city that has ever hosted the Olympics. The Cariocas live in the middle of a spectacular landscape where the ocean meets lavishly green mountains.


1. Gold medal Brazil Men’s Football

August 2, 2016. Neymar leaves a hotel in Brasilia days before the start of the Olympics. Photo: Martijn Giebels

Unfortunately, I had to watch the men’s football final in a hotel room. However, for me this is the highlight of the Rio Olympics. I still get goose bumps when I watch the penalty series of this match. The moment that Neymar gave the host nation the much desired (and deserved) gold medal. The nation-wide celebrations showed that this was more than just a medal. It was the first Olympic Football gold medal for Brazil. It was also the revenge for an unsuccessful World Cup on home soil in 2014. And perhaps the most important: the team unified and brought joy to a nation in times of political and economical turmoil.

2016 Year in Review; My top 10 of the Rio Olympics (Part 1)

The major events for 2016 were of course the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics. Today and tommorow I’ll share with you my top 10 list of the first Olympic Games in South America. This list consist not only buildings, but also sport moments and everything between. Today we start with positions 10 – 6.


10. House of Switzerland + Japan / Tokyo2020 House

August 16, 2016. House of Switzerland. Photo: Martijn Giebels

I love visiting National Houses during the Games for their unique atmosphere. Two National Houses really stood out this year;

The House of Switzerland, on the shores of the Lagoa de Freitas, existed out of 3 separate buildings with activities for young and old. Including a temporary ice rink, exhibition, shop, and a restaurant. This National House proved to be very popular among the Cariocas. (read more)

August 11, 2016. Japan / Tokyo 2020 House in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Martijn Giebels

The second National Houses that I enjoyed visiting was the Japan / Tokyo2020 House in the breath-taking Cidade das Artes, designed by Christian de Portzamparc. The exhibition was really informative, showing the best of Japanese culture, food and technology. The house also showed a lot of information about the next summer Olympics in the Japanese capital. (read more)


9. Deodoro Olympic Park

Deodoro Olympic Park
August 17, 2016. Deodoro Olympic Park. Photo: Martijn Giebels

Located far from the other venues, inland in the north. It took an hour by train and a 20 minutes walk to reach the park, but it was worth the effort. Small-scaled, green and a relaxed atmosphere. Deodoro showcased another side of Rio de Janeiro. (read more)


8. Olympic Boulevard

August 13, 2016. Olympic Boulevard Rio 2016. Photo: Martijn Giebels

Most of the time overcrowded, but the Olympic Boulevard really brought the Olympics to the city and the people. It was a great idea to put a mini-cauldron on this location. Furthermore there were attractions, sponsor and national houses, and plenty of locations to eat and drink. The moment I enjoyed the most was to watch the “epic basketball thriller” Brazil – Argentina on the live-site near the Museum of Tomorrow (Unfortunately for the Cariocas, Argentina won in double-overtime). (read more)


7. Olympic Tennis Centre

August 11, 2016. Olympic Tennis Centre in Barra Olympic Park. Photo: Martijn Giebels

In my opinion, the Olympic Tennis Centre is the best new and permanent venue. An icon at the entrance of Barra Olympic Park. Bright coloured on the outside, intimate and good sightlines inside. (read more)


6. Sambodromo / Carnival

August 14, 2016. Sambodromo Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Martijn Giebels

Rio de Janeiro = Carnival. And the Sambódromo is the ultimate carnival venue in the city. During the Games it was one of the old iconic venues, hosting the marathon and archery. A carnival parade entertained the visitors during the marathon. (read more)

I think this video says it all;

2016 Year in Review; July, August & September

August 6, 2016.  6 Years, 10 months and 4 days after the 121st IOC session in Copenhagen the Rio Olympics are about to start!

Photo: Martijn Giebels / Architecture of the Games

The main event for 2016 were of course the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics. This Sunday and Monday (December 25th & 26th) I’ll share with you my top 10 of the first Olympic Games in South America.

Most read articles on Architecture of the Games


  • Rio 2016 Olympic Games
  • Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Video: Rio de Janeiro is ready to welcome the world

Online Game; Pierre de Coubertin in search of a sustainable stadium (by The Olympic Museum)

The Olympic Museum has made this game to introduce children to the world of Olympic planning and design. Participants of the game learn about the sustainable requirements that an Olympic stadium nowadays should meet.



Host cities and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) work together to ensure that sustainable development is at the heart of all Olympic construction.

An Olympic stadium must be environmentally friendly, it must meet the needs of the Games and beyond, and be useful to the local population and the local economy. That is what is meant by a sustainable stadium.

Now, imagine that the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, who died in 1937, has travelled through time, emerging right at the moment a sustainable Olympic stadium is being designed. He doesn’t understand anything, but he’s eager to learn. Follow in his footsteps as he observes the six phases of building a stadium.

Talk with a representative of the IOC, the mayor of the host city, the architect and a citizen.


Play the Game here

2016 Year in Review; April, May & June

Lighting Ceremony of the Olympic Flame

Most read articles on Architecture of the Games

In the News


  • Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay
  • Rio 2016 test events

Magazine: The Architecture of Rio 2016

This year we paid special attention to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, resulting in the publication of this magazine;



IOC; OCOG Updates (IOC EB Meeting December 2016)

During the IOC Executive Board meetings, the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOG) gave an update on their preparations:


Rio 2016

Read more: Rio 2016; “The most perfect imperfect Games.” (IOC EB Meeting December 2016)


PyeongChang 2018

Next Olympic Host City with 425 Days to go. Activities taking place:

  • World Press Briefing
  • World Broadcaster Meeting
  • Chef de Mission – one year to go
  • 24 Test events


Buenos Aires 2018

Three new sports were added to the programme;

  • Dance sport (men’s, women’s and mixed team breakdancing)
  • Karate (three kumite events per gender)
  • Sport Climbing (combined event for men and women – lead, bouldering and speed)

Last August, karate and sport climbing were also added to the Tokyo 2020 sports programme.


Tokyo 2020

About the $20 billion budget, Mark Adams (IOC President’s Spokesman) said:

“That is a ceiling, meaning that it’s not the figure. And it’s certainly not a figure that the IOC recognizes or sees were it really comes from. And we gave the very strong opinion advise that they can and will save more money, particularly on that 20 billion figure which seems to come, we know not were from really. It’s a ceiling and certainly not a figure that we recognize.”


See also: Tokyo 2020; IOC EB Approves venues for the five new sports


Beijing 2022

Mark Adams (IOC President’s Spokesman) said:

“Impressive report from 2022. I Think the executive board were very impressed by the progress being made. The OCOG is taking shape, now got a 176 staff. 50 of whom were on the Rio observers programme.”


2024 Bid

The IOC Executive Board announced that Los Angeles, Budapest and Paris will transition to the next stage of the candidature process:

  • February 3, 2017; Deadline for submission of Candidature File stage 3.
  • April/May 2017; IOC Evaluation Commission visits each city.
  • July 2017; Candidate City 2024 Briefing (for IOC members and Summer Olympic International Federations).
  • September 12-17, 2017; 130th IOC Session in Lima, Peru.


IOC president Thomas Bach also made some notable statements about the Candidature Process. Read more about this in this comprehensive article by Gamesbids.com

2016 Year in Review; January, February & March

Zaha Hadid dies aged 65 from heart atack

Most read articles on Architecture of the Games

In the News


  • Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games (venuesphotos)
  • PyeongChang 2018 test events
  • 2024 Bid Deadline for the submission by Candidate Cities of: Candidature File Part 1: Vision, Games Concept and Strategy (read more)
  • Rio 2016 test events

Video: Barra Olympic Park, Deodoro and the Athletes Village in February

Zaha Hadid Dies Age 65

© Martijn Giebels / AotG
© Martijn Giebels / AotG


Statement by Zaha Hadid Architects

ZAHA HADID 1950-2016

It is with great sadness that Zaha Hadid Architects have confirmed that Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE died suddenly in Miami in the early hours of this morning. She had contracted bronchitis earlier this week and suffered a sudden heart attack while being treated in hospital.

Zaha Hadid was widely regarded to be the greatest female architect in the world today. Born in Baghdad in 1950, she studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before starting her architectural journey in 1972 at the Architectural Association in London.

By 1979 she had established her own practice in London – Zaha Hadid Architects – garnering a reputation across the world for her ground-breaking theoretical works including The Peak in Hong Kong (1983), the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (1986) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994).

Working with office partner Patrik Schumacher, her interest was in the interface between architecture, landscape, and geology; which her practice integrates with the use of innovative technologies often resulting in unexpected and dynamic architectural forms.

Zaha Hadid’s first major built commission, one that affirmed her international recognition, was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, Germany (1993); subsequent notable projects including the MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (2009), the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011) and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013) illustrate her quest for complex, fluid space. Buildings such as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (2003) and the Guangzhou Opera House in China (2010) have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our ideas of the future with visionary spatial concepts defined by advanced design, material and construction processes.

In 2004, Zaha Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She twice won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize: in 2010 for the MAXXI Museum in Rome, a building for the staging of 21st century art, the distillation of years of experimentation, a mature piece of architecture conveying a calmness that belies the complexities of its form and organisation; and the Evelyn Grace Academy, a unique design, expertly inserted into an extremely tight site, that shows the students, staff and local residents they are valued and celebrates the school’s specialism throughout its fabric, with views of student participation at every turn.

Zaha Hadid’s other awards included the Republic of France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and in 2012, Zaha Hadid was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  She was made Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture.

She held various academic roles including the Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture. Hadid also taught studios at Columbia University, Yale University and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

Zaha Hadid was recently awarded the RIBA’s 2016 Royal Gold Medal, the first woman to be awarded the prestigious honour in her own right.

Copyright © Zaha Hadid Architects


Read more about Zaha Hadid and her Olympic designs

Aquatics Centre London 2012

Olympic Stadium Tokyo 2020