Now that the Beijing Olympics are over, future host nations especially England, which will host the 2012 games are faced with the task of how to compete with the grandiose scale of what we saw in China especially in terms of stadium design. If hosting the games was a way for China to shore up its strength on a visible international stage, then the architecture was the component that brought together politics and aesthetics into a seemingly cohesive whole.
The organizers of the London 2012 Olympics would like to duplicate such accomplishments but for many such cities who lack the adequate space for expansion or the necessary funds, this could be a tall order. HOK sports has unveiled a temporary solution for the 2012 games by creating a "convertible" structure in the London arena(top left) which would increase the seats from 25,000 to 80,000 for the games' commencements and back down to 25,000 seats when the games are concluded(left). Also, these expansion components will have the ability to be dismantled, boxed up and shipped to another country needing an expansion to their main stadium.
This tactic of "recycling" the Olympic stadium has been lauded as a first step in a new approach to preparations for the games which could become more like a traveling circus to keep costs down and allow poorer countries to play host for the Olympics. A spokesman for London's Olympic Delivery Authority stated that the plan would also help to offset the rising cost of the London games which now stand at 9.3 billion pounds. The cost of the main stadium has already risen from 280 million pounds to 496 million pounds. Taking these costs into consideration, the ODA spokesman went on to say: "it is right that we should explore any opportunities that would recoup some of the costs incurred by the lottery and the public purse."
David Higgins, the CEO of the London ODA began talks with officials in Chicago (bidding for the 2016 games alongside Tokyo, Madrid, Prague and Rio de Janeiro) in June for a deal that would see the shipping of the London stadium's expansions (55,000 seats) to Chicago's Washington Park expanding a planned 7,500 capacity community arena into the city's main stadium.
I don't know, this might be a good way to keep costs down in times when the economy is struggling as it is today but I love to see "permanent" landmark stadiums that are not only aesthetically appealing, but add to the overall infrastructure of the city and enrich its architecture. The convenience of the "travelling" stadium will see a drop in stadium construction.
Images obtained from www.guardian.co.uk