Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games
Architecture, Master Planning
CHALLENGE. Russia’s bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics was part of a broader goal to step back onto the world stage as hosts of major sporting events (the country’s last event was the Moscow Summer Olympics back in 1980). The challenge was threefold: to convince the International Olympic Committee that Russia had both the vision and the infrastructure to host such a major event; to develop the popular summertime coastal resort of Sochi into a world class destination for winter sports, and to design a stadium flexible enough to facilitate the Olympic ceremonies, then act as a venue for FIFA World Cup matches and, finally, become the home venue for a local football team.
INNOVATION. Sochi 2014 marked the first time that an Olympic Park had been designed as part of a Winter Games masterplan. This unusual step set a unique legacy for the Games, marking Sochi out as a winter destination for decades to come. Within the park, the main level of the stadium is raised on a landscaped mound, providing stunning views from within. The unique engineering systems enabled truly memorable opening and closing ceremonies while, post-Games, the in-built flexibility of the stadium’s design means its capacity can change over time to provide event configurations from 45,000 seats for FIFA World Cup matches in 2018 to a compact, atmospheric 25,000 for local matches.
IMPACT. Winning the bid for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games not only reinstated Russia’s reputation as a viable host for major events, but transformed Sochi itself. The infrastructure that Populous’ work helped create has regenerated the region, marking Sochi out as a year-round tourist destination, and a major new European winter sports centre.
- Commemorative medal of the XXII Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games