Gallery: PREFAB FRIDAY: The Collapsible, Flatpacked Olympic Stadium


Any sustainable minded surveyor of large scale events wonders if the expense and waste associated with showpiece stadiums could be reduced, even just a little. Well, the organizers of the London Olympics have a remarkable plan that could offset construction costs, and be sure that their stadium finds a purposeful second life. Currently there are plans in place to dismantle around 70% of the proposed London Olympic Stadium, pack up the components, and send them to the host of the 2016 Olympics! Finally, flatpacked, prefab stadiums!

The concept is part of a new approach to the Olympic Games. Rather than building everything new every four years, the “prefab” stadium idea allows facilities to be built in one city, moved as efficiently as possible and be adapted to existing arenas in the new host city. In the case of London, this particular stadium was specifically designed by HOK Sport to be disassembled and sold on, preventing wasteful obsolescence. The London Olympic Stadium is effectively designed as a 25,000 seat concrete bowl that has an additional 55,000 seats placed on top of it in a temporary structure. It is this entire upper structure which can be moved and installed somewhere else.

Currently, talks are underway with Chicago, but London organizers hope that their offer is taken up by whoever wins the games. If the plan goes forward, this would be the largest amount of seats ever moved from one place to the next, and the first time in history that a stadium of this size has been moved.

+ For Sale: Flatpack stadium for Olympic Games @ The Guardian


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  1. Haze March 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    This is such an interesting idea. What about the energy required to send such a large structure across the world? It would be interesting to see an embodied energy analysis comparing wholly new stadium constructions with this alternative. That said, I’m a big fan of not using virgin materials for each new Olympic!

  2. polovinka June 2, 2008 at 5:52 am

    Russia variant of the article is here

  3. RichardMillington May 31, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I agree with Adam Creilly to a major extent. But lets not forget that this Olympic stadium has no designated purpose after the event. White elephants are famous after Olympic events and since no London football club wants it then it makes perfect financial and environmental sense.

  4. adamcreilly May 30, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    This is a wonderful idea. The only downfall that I foresee is that many cities that host an Olympic game see their stadium as a trophy, or a reminder of their place in a very long and prestigious tradition. The 2008 Olympic stadium in Beijing is such a remarkable and sculptural work of architecture that it creates a sense of national pride in the structure. This is one of the many things that would lost if the stadium was no longer unique from Olympiad to Olympiad. On the other hand I absolutely love the fact that this concept opens the bids for hosting an Olympic game to less developed nations. Cheers to rethinking the Olympic games into an opportunity to use sustainable practices!

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