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    13.10.2016 07.05.2017

    Visit Guide

  • 2IntroductionStadiums Past and Future Visit Guide

    Stadiums Past and Future

    This Visit Guide is part of a series of documents for teachers to help them plan a visit to The Olympic Museum with their classes. It contains suggested routes and activities to do whilst at the exhibition.

    A visit can also be arranged with the Museum Coaches, who will accompany the students during their visit, adapting their approach to the age and expectations of each group.

    For more information:

    A digital interactive game, or Serious Game, explains the key principles of sustainable development as applied to the Olympic stadium.

    Find it on

    Published by IOC, The Olympic Museum, Lausanne 1st edition, 2016

    Authors Cultural and Educational Programmes Unit

    Graphic Design DidWeDo s..r.l.

    Images Copyrights CIO unless specified

    This document is also available in English, French and German.

    It can be downloaded from: / education.

    Stadiums Past and Future 13.10.2016 07.05.2017

    Individual visit

    Visit guided by the teacher, with or without tablets, with suggested routes and activities inside the exhibitions (free of charge, subject to reservation and availability).

    Special student price: ages 6-16 years old CHF 7.- per student / child. 1 accompanying adult obligatory and free of charge per group of 10 students/children.

    Coached visit

    With or without a workshop, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (last visit):- Monday to Friday, from May to October- Tuesday to Friday, from November to April

    Min. 15, max. 18 students /children per group, aged 6 and above

    Length: 90 minutes

    Available in English, French and German

    CHF 15.- per student /child, including entry ticket. 1 accompanying adult obligatory and free of charge per group of 10 students/children.

    Information and reservations: [email protected]; +41 21 621 66 85

  • 3IntroductionStadiums Past and Future Visit Guide

    Step-by-step visit

    An imposing architectural feature, the stadium illustrates the place of the Games and sport in our modern and contemporary societies. More than a theatre of sport, the stadium now interacts with the city that holds it and the urban landscape in which it is built, promoting the regeneration of certain parts of the city and forming part of the future and the development of a city. An intimidating feature? Lets listen to the stories it has to tell us.

    The first part of the exhibition takes a brief look at the long history of the stadium since Antiquity, starting with its basic functions: defining the perimeter of a sports competition and bringing together an enthusiastic audience.

    The second part of the exhibition focuses on the main elements of town planning, sustainable development and legacy, which influence the construction of Olympic stadiums.

    In the third and final part, the exhibition looks towards the future and the utopian stadiums which might one day become reality.

    Educational objectives Learn about the architectural history of stadiums,

    from Antiquity to the present day.

    Think about the various urban planning elements linked to building a stadium in a host city.

    Make students aware of the issues of sustainable development and legacy.

    Understand the role of the different people involved in building a stadium.

    Discover the stadium as a source of inspiration for contemporary artists.

    Look ahead and imagine what the stadiums and cities of the future might look like.

    Links with the school programme

    Stadiums Past and Present

  • 4The visit, step by stepStadiums Past and Future Visit Guide

    Visit plan

    And nowlive

    the stadium !


    6.Stadiums ofthe future.THE STADIUM:



    development the stadium

    in the city.


    development legacy.

    5.The dierent

    people involved.



    2.From the ancient

    to the modernstadium.


    A buildingunlike

    any other.



    Exhibition highlights:

    The interactive model of the Colosseum.

    The interactive stadium comparison feature.

    The digital book on sustainable development and the IOC.

    The animated film Build your own stadium.

    The artworks by Neville Gabie and Helen Couchman.


  • 5The visit, step by stepStadiums Past and Future Visit Guide

    Focus: Specific nature of Olympic stadiums Unlike other stadiums, Olympic stadiums, in addition to hosting sports events, must be capable of holding large numbers of people for the opening and closing ceremonies. These spectacular events often attract far more spectators than the competitions themselves.

    With cities increasingly resembling one another, the stadium is an atypical building in the urban landscape. A real temple to sport as entertainment, it is also often an architectural achievement.

    Although they are all different, stadiums all share common characteristics, as they all include:

    a field of play, where the competitions are held, of differing shapes according to the sport in question;

    tiered seating for the spectators, to give them an uninterrupted view of the event;

    a roof, to protect the spectators from the sun or the rain. It can also help to reduce the light and shadow contrasts on the field of play.

    While Olympic stadiums are most often used for athletics competitions on specially built tracks, they may also be designed to hold other events. For example, the White City Stadium, built for the 1908 Olympic Games in London, even had a pool for the swimming events and a banked track for cycling.

    Today, special buildings are constructed for these compe-titions and they have their own names, like velodromes.

    A building unlike any other



    An animated slide show.


    List the various activities and sports that can be held in a stadium.

    Imagine and describe the atmosphere in a stadium before, during and after a competition.



    The Olympic Stadium in Seoul, built for the Games in 1988

    Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games in London

  • 6The visit, step by stepStadiums Past and Future Visit Guide

    Focus: Origin of the word STADIUMIn Antiquity, the area on which the competitions were held corresponded to a stadion, a unit of measurement equivalent to 192.24 metres. This gave rise to the name of the architectural feature devoted to sport, the STADIUM.

    From the ancient to the modern stadium


    While the Games in Olympia were originally of a deeply religious nature, the Romans made them spectacular, political events! It was in Rome that the stadium acquired its traditional form, with arenas like the Colosseum or, for horse racing, the Circus Maximus.

    The history of stadiums highlights the inventiveness of the people who built them. These stone giants reveal the architectural trends of their era, but they are above all the result of technological prowess and audacity. They bear witness to the society that produced them.


    A chronological display of stadiums over time. An interactive terminal to compare stadiums. An interactive model of the Colosseum.

    The Olympia stadium today Getty Images




    Using the interactive model, compare the Colosseum in Rome with modern stadiums. What similarities and differences can you find?

    Define the materials we have now which the stadium builders of the past did not.

    From among those displayed, choose your favourite stadium and explain why (materials, shape, environ-ment, city, etc.).

    The Munich 1972 Stadium

  • 7The visit, step by stepStadiums Past and Future Visit Guide


    50m high, the tallest building in ancient Rome. 156m in width / 188m in length. 545m in circumference. 4,644 m2 of floor area. Over a million bricks.

    Focus: The Colosseum in RomeTen years of work were required on that famous 50,000-seat amphitheatre, the Colosseum, before it opened in 80 AD. Its oval shape allowed all the spectators to enjoy the show and ensure that the emperor could be seen by everyone.

    The Colosseum was used for venationes (wild animal fights), munera (gladiator fights), naumachiae (naval battles) and other public entertainment, such as executions of criminals condemned to death.

    Spectator circulation within the Colosseum was an engineering marvel. With no danger to the safety of the spectators, the Colosseum could be filled or emptied in just eight minutes! Modern stadiums seek to emulate this efficiency.

    The faade of the Colosseum in Rome Getty Images

    From the ancient to the modern stadium


    Like modern stadiums, the Colosseum already had the three main elements:

    the arena was where the shows took place. It takes its name from the sand (arena) which covered the wooden flooring, to prevent the gladiators from slipping and to absorb the blood shed.

    the cavea (tiered seating): the spectators sat in the stands following a hierarchy determined by the social category to which they belonged.

    a retractable roof, the velum, which protected the spectators by means of a system of linen sheets.

    Reconstitution of the Colosseum in ancient Rome Shutterstock

    The interior of the Colosseum in Rome Shutterstock

  • 8The visit, step by stepStadiums Past and Future Visit Guide

    In the general planning for each edition of the Olympic Games, the stadium is just one piece of a giant puzzle which includes the construction of other facilities and adjustments to a sizeable part of the city.

    Building the Olympic stadium can provide an opportu-nity to revive an abandoned industrial or commercial part of the city. The Olympic stadium project then becomes the chance to clean up land and give it new life for the future.

    The stadium in Sydney, for example, built for the Olympic Games in 2000, allowed for the total remediation of Homebush Bay, a badly polluted site containing an abattoir and an industrial waste dump.

    Sustainable development the stadium in the city



    A digital book on the notions of sustainable development and legacy.


    Look at the digital book and identify the three pillars of sustainable development.

    Observe the aerial views and identify the stadiums surroundings. Describe its environment (roads, water, housing, other buildings, etc.).

    Focus: Transport and accessibilityAccess to the stadium and the transport system which allows this are vital for spectators and athletes alike. Links to railway stations and airports must be studied long before building work begins. To avoid too many traffic jams, the last kilometre between the car park and the stadium entrance is often covered on foot.

    Encouraging the use of public transport and reducing the area taken up by car parks around the stadium also helps to reduce the buildings carbon footprint.

    Aerial view of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Stadium



    Entrance of the Olympic Green Station in Beijing

  • 9The visit, step by stepStadiums Past and Future Visit Guide


    How exciting to build a stadium! And an Olympic stadium, at that! While it is built primarily for the 16 days of competition, the stadium also represents a long-term commitment of more than 30 years for the city hosting the Games. It thus contributes to the legacy linked to every edition of the Olympic Games.

    Before a stadium is built, those in charge of the project have to think about what will happen to it once the Olympic Games are over. Several solutions can be adopted to avoid ending up with something useless!

    Stadiums can therefore be demountable, like the Future Arena in Rio, dismantled and converted into schools after the Games, or modular, like the Sydney stadium, for which the capacity was reduced from 110,000 to 83,500 after the Games in 2000.

    Stadiums are also often multifunctional, allowing them to host sports or cultural events like rock concerts!

    Sustainable development the stadium in the city


    An interactive device featuring aerial views of London.

    An animated film Build your own stadium.


    Discuss the future use of the facilities built for the Youth Olympic Games in 2020. What will happen to them after the Games? Who will benefit?

    Focus: London 2012Preparing for the Olympic Games is a long process. The city of London, which hosted the Games in 2012, began preparing its candidature in 1997, but was not selected until 2005. The stadium was built in the district of Stratford. Easily accessible from the city centre and with large areas of land to build on, it had already been part of a rehabilitation programme, being one of the poorest areas of the British capital.

    After the Games, the reconversion of the area around the stadium allowed the creation of five neighbourhoods with 6,800 flats and houses, but also schools, offices, cultural institutions and parkland, like the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where Londoners can walk or cycle.

    The London 2012 stadium and its surroundings Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park



  • 10The visit, step by stepStadiums Past and Future Visit Guide


    Building is not a solitary occupation! What would the architects and engineers do, however brilliant they might be, with no workers to help them? What would happen to these bold projects without this shadow army (more than 45,000 workers for London 2012), who work tirelessly throughout the years needed to build a stadium?

    In December 2007, Helen Couchman photographed 143 Chinese workers involved in building the Birds Nest stadium and the Olympic pool for the 2008 Games in Beijing.

    The different people involved


    A digital cloud of words linked to stadium jobs. Photos by Helen Couchman. Neville Gabies Freeze Frame, a tribute

    to Georges Seurats Bathers at Asnires a large copy of this is on show in the Olympic Museums Art Lounge.


    Draw up a list of the different areas of expertise needed to build a stadium.

    Imagine you are a contemporary artist and think of some artistic performances or installations inspired by stadiums.

    Compare the work Freeze Frame by Neville Gabie and Georges Seurats Bathers at Asnires which inspired it. What do you notice?

    Focus: Neville Gabie and the Great Lengths 2012 projectIn 2012, an artist was tasked with creating artworks in the frame-work of a residency on the construction site for the Games in Londons.

    The South African artist, Neville Gabie, used his imagination in the stadiums to create a series of humorous works.

    In his Great Lengths 2012 series, he devised an artistic performance during which he attempted to sit in all 69,000 seats of the Olympic Stadium.

    Photo of the Every seat in the stadium performance Neville Gabie



  • 11The visit, step by stepStadiums Past and Future Visit Guide


    Look at the plan of the modern Olympia. Identify the various elements and facilities which make up Pierre de Coubertins project (stadium, baths, tennis courts, port for regattas and restaurant).

    Based on the architects projects presented in the exhibition, imagine what a stadium might look like in the future.

    Stadiums of the future6

    Each edition of the Olympic Games brings a new challenge, be it sporting, environmental, economic or technological. So what will the stadiums of tomorrow look like? Will the projections of todays architects and engineers become reality in 10, 20 or 50 years?

    At one point, Pierre de Coubertin, who revived the Olympic Games, dreamed of a modern Olympia to host the Games on the shores of Lake Geneva. His idea never came to fruition, but continues to inspire many architects, even today.


    A plan of the modern Olympia. Backlit photographs of stadiums

    and cities of the future.

    Focus: A flying stadium In 2012, the Populous agency, which specialises in stadium design, launched the Stadium of Tomorrow architecture contest in Korea. More than 250 teams of architecture students took part.

    The Airship Stadium of World Peace project received an honourable mention. This idea, which explores the limits of the imagination, proposed a floating stadium which could travel around the host country and travel from country to country. This idea reinterprets the temporary stadium concept, like a travelling circus going from place to place.

    Presentation of the Airship Stadium of World Peace project Populous



    The Living Park, a baseball stadium for the future Populous