Olympic Village 2012, New York (USA)

The urban situation together with the „Olympic Spirit“, the global identity of New York City and the special character of Queens create a site of sublime autonomy and unmistakable urban nature. The urban grid of Queens and piers along the waterfront are used as a spatial basis for superimposing the city and the Olympic Spirit. The idea of the Olympic flag – created by Coubertin in 1913 – was the possibility to arrange all national flags out of its colours plus white. Today the colours of the rings are compared with the five continents. In our design, we will develop a theme out of continents, oceans, population and colours.
These analogies lead to autonomous urban situations formed by various iconic building types related to a continent. They are placed within one of the “seven seas” – created by piers elongating the avenues – flanked by parks as “six land masses”. Different architects and landscape architects should design the buildings and parks to create various unique places. An undulating series of pedestrian bridges spans the water basins. It ends at the promontory that should be used for a larger meeting square covered partly by a suspended open air theatre for 18.000 people with the UN building and midtown Manhattan as a scenic background. After the games, it would be both– a landmark for Queens’s waterfront and a fantastic place for outdoor festivals, concerts, meetings etc.
Behind 2nd street – then like a quay – is a building structure that deals with the scale of Queens, its blocks and street grids. It is furthermore a transformation of the large train yards. One result is a high transparency towards the water. All existing structures of good or typical grade should be protected and reused. Border Avenue and 11th street form a large square down to Newton Creek. Jackson Avenue is elongated as a visual green axis towards the suspended bowl and East River.

Client: NYC 2012
Architecture: Dietrich | Untertrifaller
Competition: 2003