Life After the Youth Olympics

October 2, 2016 2016年10月2日

At the close of another Olympic year, the monumental venues that once housed the cheers of tens of thousands of spectators become hollow spaces as the host city shifts back to a pace of normality. Some host cities have managed to breathe new life into these spaces – once the epicentre of the Summer Olympics of 2012, London Stadium has been converted into a multi-use facility and the new home of English Premiership team, West Ham United. Likewise, the Fisht Olympic Stadium for the Sochi Winter Olympics is still in use today and is now undergoing renovations in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. However, the same can’t be said for the 2004 Summer Olympics host, Athens, with the Faliro Olympic Complex, the Helinikon Complex and the Aquatic Centre all left derelict and in ghostly ruins.

随着今年奥运会的结束,主办城市回归正常人流状态,些可容纳成千上万激情澎湃观众的巨型场馆就变成了泛人问津的空旷之地。一些主办城市正通过加瓦添新,将这些空间好好利用起来:2012年伦敦夏季奥运会的主会场“伦敦碗”就改造成为一个多功能公共设施,也是英国英超球队、西汉姆联队的比赛新场地。同样,索契冬奥会的菲施特奥林匹克体育场现在依然在使用,目前正在翻新施工中,为2018年在俄罗斯举行的世界杯做准备。但是,同样的方法在2004年的奥运会主办城市雅典却行不通,Faliro Olympic Complex, Helinikon Complex还有Aquatic Centre等场馆都摒弃在一旁,任其荒废。

Nanjing, China was the official host city for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games with the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games International Convention Centre acting as the main reception venue. The complex was intrinsically designed by the late Zaha Hadid and her team at Zaha Hadid Architects – it remains as a shining example of functional architecture that can continue to serve great purpose even after its Olympic debut.


The design for the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games International Convention Centre was centred around the merging of a series of contradictions into one cohesive structure. Polar opposites such as black and white, brightness and dim, truth and falsity, as well as yin and yang were symbolically incorporated into the venue. Due to the lack of natural lighting present within the building, creating artificial lighting that streamed through the entire convention centre was paramount. The team hoped to showcase “Flow and Energy”. “Flow” being the extension of light and its movement between surfaces and “Energy” being the source for flow. Light is the interdependence and interlacement of “Flow” and “Energy”. The result of this vision is a six-story tall building that spans 194000m2, complete with a 2,181 seater Conference Hall, 505 seat Concert Hall and four multi-purpose rooms.


The main Conference Hall plays host to various conferences, musicals, plays and presentations throughout the year – however, unlike most performance spaces, there are no spot lights fixed onto the ceiling. This was an intentional move to preserve Hadid’s original design, allowing “Flow” to be represented by the luminous white fixtures. Instead, the space is affixed with densely covered LED luminescence film, allowing for the theatre lights to change gradually.


The Concert Hall additionally has luminous ribbon-like surfaces, which serve as both decorative and functional lighting. The fixtures not only provide environmental lighting for performers on stage, but they can also be altered to suit the performance atmosphere. Lighting operators are given ample flexibility across both spaces to alter luminance and visual focus in order to enhance each performance and presentation.


Hadid’s intention was to guide visitors through the space with well-placed lighting that would essentially “follow” each person and guide them like a map. Dimming controls were put into place in all public areas; the diamond shaped lights can also be altered from the primary lighting circuit. Each open space epitomises the design and lighting team’s intention to create a venue showcasing how light and space can co-exist and compliment each other.


Much like the Bird’s Nest from Beijing’s 2008 Summer Olympics, which has been repurposed for football matches and the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics, Nanjing’s Youth Olympic Games International Convention Centre continues to host exhibitions, conferences, performances and attract architect enthusiasts and visitors from around the world.


Contributor: Whitney Ng
Images Courtesy of He Shu


供稿人: Whitney Ng

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