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A Proposal for an Olympic Stadium for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Chicago
Piazza Navona


This Olympic Stadium is inspired by the historical transformation of the Stadium of Domitian into Piazza Navona in Rome and also to some extent the post-games strategies of Atlanta's Olympic Stadium, which was reconfigured into Turner Field; Albertville's circus-like Théâtre des Cérémonies, which like a circus big top was wholly dismantled and recycled; and the future London stadium, whose seating capacity will be downgraded, the same legacy plan for Chicago's holdover stadium for its failed bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

It will be an antithesis to Beijing's de-civilizing monolith.

Rather than remaining a stadium in a city already saturated with athletic and outdoor cultural venues, this proposed stadium will be adaptively reused post-games into low-rise affordable/low income housing or for mixed uses. It'll be truncated down, and the excised modular units will be clustered around the stadium proper. This newly formed neighborhood will then be infilled with further development to reach a certain density. Additionally, the stadium proper itself will be carved out into segments (not too many, perhaps just two or three openings) in order to open up the interior to the urban grid and link it to the city's Olmsted-designed Emerald necklace of large parks and green boulevards. This open space may be a park, a plaza or whatever the winning proposal will be in an official design competition to repurpose the grassy turf.

The stadium exterior may have the ebullience of FAT, the lushness of a vertical garden or the networked interactivity of a vast multimedia screen of pure data. But the design will have to bear in mind its edited future and that the interior, too, will be a facade facing a park/plaza/whatever.

This stadium or the Olympics needn't be in Chicago.


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3 COMMENTS —
  • San
  • February 15, 2010 at 2:22:00 AM CST
  • Fantastic idea, I'm all for it.


  • rob
  • February 15, 2010 at 10:38:00 AM CST
  • Yes. As for whether the stadium should be FAT, vertically-gardened, or ornamented with data, I say: all three. And more. If it composed of repurposable "modular units", why not let an army of architects design the swarm, like Ordos assembled into a singular combined form.


  • Alexander Trevi
  • February 15, 2010 at 11:54:00 AM CST
  • Given that Chicago in all its Midwestern drabness needs every opportunity to be ornamented, I wouldn't mind seeing it with a little bit of FAT. Also, I think they may already have created a prototype.


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