Values of the Olympic movement revealed in architecture

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Values of the Olympic movement revealed in architecture

Copenhagen-based 3XN Architects have released new visuals showing the new home of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The images show the circular staircase, which echoes the Olympic rings, as well as the sinuous facade structure rising at the construction site. In 2014, 3XN won the competition to design IOC’s new headquarters, Olympic House. The building is designed around three key values/objectives: movement, flexibility and sustainability. Its interior is designed with as few structural constraints as possible, and has an eightmetre- high column-free zone from the facade into the building.

3XN Architects have also designed Toronto’s Aquabella Bayside by Tridel and Church & Wellesley by One Properties.

A transparent double glass facade is the hallmark of the design for Olympic House. Comprising a straight inner layer and a curving, faceted outer layer, the result is a dynamic form that evokes the movement of an Olympic athlete.

By optimizing the “facade to floor plate” ratio, and creating a fully glazed facade from floor to ceiling, 3XN’s design draws daylight deep into the building. The inner layer features an integrated sunscreen, which enables the outer later to maintain its fully glazed and transparent appearance. A cavity between the facade layers enables easy maintenance while allowing for the dynamic and elegant skin.

“With its dynamic, undulating facade, the building will appear different from all angles and convey the energy of an athlete in motion,” said Jan Ammundsen, senior partner and head of design at 3XN Architects. “Its interior is designed with as few structural constraints as possible. This open and flexible environment is meant to adapt for multiple work styles now and in the future.”

The new IOC headquarters will be a one of the most energy efficient glass buildings and aims to achieve the highest sustainable development standards. Solar panels on the roof (and out of sight) will produce an amount of electricity equivalent to the consumption of 60 Swiss households. This electricity will allow the building to be self-sufficient in terms of its heating, ventilation, cooling and hot water systems.

The aim for the design has been to minimize the environmental footprint while not compromising the quality of the working environment. Through the green roof, terraces and fitness centre, the building and natural environment is rich with the opportunity for employees to participate in sport and leisure activities. Sustainable features such as low-flow taps, toilets and rainwater harvesting significantly reduce the building’s use of water.

To achieve a sustainable development, the IOC recycled all of the concrete used in its former administration buildings for use in the construction of the new Olympic House. A concrete mixer and all the other machines needed to sort and crush the concrete were installed on the site.

The new headquarters of the International Olympic Committee will bring together 600 employees, currently working in offices throughout the city and is expected to be inaugurated in early 2019.


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