Dominant structure

In large stadia there could be a third approach: to make the structure dominant. For instance, both façade and roof could be visually contained behind a dominant 'cage' of vertical structural ribs. Examples include the Chamsil Olympic Main Stadium at Seoul and the Parc des Princes in Paris. This may work best on large open sites where the building is mostly seen from a distance.

Kenzo Tange's twin gymnasia for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics provide supreme examples of structural expressionism of a different kind. Both have organically-shaped roofs suspended from cables which in turn are anchored to massive concrete buttresses. The horizontal sweep of the seating tiers and the upward-curving spirals of the suspended roofs obey few of the traditional canons of architectural composition and yet look magnificent - but it has to be said that few designers could handle such unorthodox forms so successfully.

An excellent recent example is provided by Santiago Calatrava's 2004 Olympic Stadium in Athens (Figure 5.3).

Figure 5.2 In urban contexts the most appropriate approach may be a dominant façade with the roof either hidden or subdued. The Mound Stand at Lord's Cricket Ground, London has a light roof floating above a dominant and well-composed façade. Architects: Michael Hopkins & Partners.
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