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Olympiapark Munich / World wide Olympic sites

Author meltwaterfalls
#1 | Posted: 20 Jul 2008 06:25 
Full name of site: Olympiapark Munich
Country: Germany
Short description of site (also include multiple locations if applicable): The Olympiapark comprises the main site for the 1972 Olympic Games, including the Olympic Stadium, Olympic Village, Media centre with Communication Tower and the landscaped Olympic Lake, Mountain and Park
Criteria (cultural, natural, mixed):
C ii. Is an outstanding example of landscape design and planning for mass gatherings and high participation events.
C iv. Is an outstanding example of architectural style from the mid/late twentieth century, illustrating large technological advances designed to accommodate mass participation events that developed in the century.
C vi. The park is directly associated with the large scale international sporting events that developed from the end of the 19th century illustrating the developments in international collaboration, travel and communications.
Outstanding universal value / comparative analysis:
The development of large scale international sport has been illustrative of increased movement of people since the late 19th and increased 'leisure' activities. The Olympic games have become one of the most watched and participated in events in human history.
The Olympiapark is one of the most recognisable ensembles for its pioneering 'webbed- roof' It also contains all the aspects that have made the Olympics such world wide phenomenon, a high capacity main stadium, mass housing for participants, communications centre and tower to broadcast to world wide audiences.
The stadium is the only one in the world to have hosted the 3 most viewed sporting events the Olympic games and the finals of Football's World Cup and European Championships.

Possible extention:
In writing this up I was wondering if it was worthwhile making this an international site to include a vast range of sites associated with the International Olympic Movement (Sites that have hosted the summer and winter games and have not been significantly altered and the Headquarters in Lausanne for example?) as it is something which has a huge impact on people through out the world.

Author elsslots
#2 | Posted: 20 Jul 2008 06:46 
Could be an extension to Greece's Olympia!

Author paul
#3 | Posted: 22 Jul 2008 05:35 
Amsterdam's 1927stadium is a fine example of the "Amsterdamse School" and would fit well on a serial inscription for it's architectural merits.

The Olympisch Stadion was only just saved from demolition in the late 80s - and is now a national monument. Unlike both the White City and Wembley!

Are there other worthwhile extensions?

Author m_m
#4 | Posted: 22 Jul 2008 06:06 
the way i see it, the proposal has two main values for consideration: architecturally, and intangibly (i.e. related to international sports in general).

between these two, i think that the nomination has a stronger change to be nominated for its architectural value.

in terms of intangible property, for sure it will be compared with the olympia world heritage site. but ultimately, i feel that the two site are incomparable, olympia is related to the ANCIENT olympic games, while the munich stadium was used for the MODERN olympic games. and there is a clear distinction here: whereas the ancient games is a pagan rite and any acts of aggression is literally suspended for the duration of the games, the modern version is more secular, and the ideal of peace is more symbolic (i.e. more applicable between athletes competing within the games, but acts of aggression may continue outside of it, which could be demonstrated by politics stepping over the lines in some editions of the modern olympics). further, the years of the ancient olympic games (i.e. olympiad) have become means of counting years in ancient times, again highlighting its importance as extending beyond sports.

comparing the olympic stadium with venues of modern olympic games, for sure the 1896 athens site will rank higher since that is where it all began. the statement above of "The development of large scale international sport has been illustrative of increased movement of people since the late 19th and increased 'leisure' activities" is more apt with the 1896 site, connecting more with the ideals of coubertin. the munich venue came after, in the mid-20th century. and with respect to this period, there are a good number of venues that have become emblems of their sports--being known as the cathedrals and meccas of leisure and sporting entertainment, like maracaña and aztec stadiums for latin american soccer, sw19 for tennis, and several other european stadiums. as the site of the olympic games, the berlin stadium may even be ranked higher (it held the first games in germany). aside from this, any intangible value of the place related to the merit of the olympic games might be forever overshadowed by what happened outside of the games, as usually recounted in documentaries, history books and sports reviews.

architecturally however, it's a different story. the stadium is always recounted in architecture books, especially for the design of the roof. i'm not really familiar with the details, but experts might provide further justification on the site's importance not just in terms of its aesthetic design but also its structural engineering.

so with respect to all these, i have reservations on the site's qualitification on the basis of criterion vi if olympic games will be the main point of justification. related to this, it might not be appropriate for this to serve as an extension of the olympia site, which represents the ancient version. the commonality of the two is the ideal of achieving peace through sports, but i think that this is better displayed in the 1896 site for its association with the vision of coubertin and as the first modern olympic games. however, a serial site just encompassing all sites of modern olympic games might be probable, considering that they are all roughly from the same period (from late 19th to 20th century), hence, showing the development of the modern olympic ideal, as well as the evolution of stadium architecture in the contemporary era. if it gets inscribed on the list for architectural value, an extension to an existing world heritage site might not even be a necessary arrangement, since this monument might have value significant enough to stand on its own on the list, with the likes of the great wall, stonehenge, and even olympia.

Author paul
#5 | Posted: 22 Jul 2008 06:45 
I agree that Olympia is not very compatible with the proposal - An extension with Nemea and even the stadium near Corinth and a double inscription for Delphi would perhaps be more appropriate!

Author paul
#6 | Posted: 24 Jul 2008 03:59 
Although, initially, I wasn't sure about this suggestion I couldn't help doing a little bit of searching and I am becoming more enthusiastic. There seems to be quite a few stadia still intact – many of which are architecturally interesting and some of which have monument status. It is difficult to ascertain if all the sites are "authentic" as defined by UNESCO – perhaps the grass must be original, however; many are well restored and at least look substantially intact. They make a very coherent serial inscription which documents the development of a single type of building at regular intervals. Although sport is almost as universal as war it is only represented on the heritage list by Olympia. The sites which elsslots has connected with sport are almost all venues which resulted in the death or execution of the losers and are far removed from the modern concept. Non military, non-elitist secular structures as a whole are underrepresented on the list.

The following stadia seem very promising:

Panathinaiko Stadium; Athens
Velodrome de Vincennes; Paris
Oympisch Stadion; Amsterdam
Francis Field; St. Louis
Olympiastadion; Stockholm
Memorial Coliseum; Los Angeles
Olympic Stadium; Montreal

Also possibly;

Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir; Paris
Central Lenin Stadium, Moscow
Melbourne Cricket Ground; Melbourne

Author meltwaterfalls
#7 | Posted: 24 Jul 2008 06:07 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Overall I think the one thing to work out is whether this would be a better nomination by itself as an outstanding example, or if we should include other sites which underline its international appeal.

As a bit of back ground. My thinking behind the Munich proposal was that I wanted something to represent mass participation sports which played a big part in 20th century history, and are very indicative of their time and in the same way that World Fair/ Exhibitions are already represented Paris, Melbourne and Wroclaw.
I figured I would go for those that had the biggest international appeal Olympics and International Football.

I had a look at which ones had hosted these events and saw that five had hosted both the Olympics and the World Cup final;
Stade Olympique de Colombes (Paris), Wembley (London), Olympic Stadia in Rome, Munich & Berlin
Berlin has recntly been restored and perhaps carries a little too much historical baggage for UNESCO?
Wembley has been knocked down, otherwise it would probably have been a good contender
Rome and Colombes do not really stand out on their own design wise.

Therefore I thought that Munich would be the best to put forward as it was used for these pinicles of sporting events and was architecturaly signficant.

I did also have a quick look at other major sports facilities but discounetd most for being either too specialist or not very interesting design wise or in most cases both.

Looking back at other past olympic venues I ruled some out because they had been significantly altered/ rebuilt Wembley & Atlanta (Turner Field) or just were not very interesting Barcelona.

But some sites, many picked out by Paul, do seem to be reasonable choices for extensions.

(The MCG in Melbourne perhaps has a strong case. Despite being constantly updated as it has hosted many international events and brings in Cricket which, although mostly limited to the former British empire, has a massive following in the Indian Subcontinent.)

This is not an exhaustative list but these are Olympic venues of particular architectural note;
Yoyogi National Gynasium – Kenzo Tange
Palazzo dello sport – Pier Luigi Nervi and Marcello Pacentini
Montjuic Communications Tower (Barcelona), Olympic Park (Athens) - Santiago Calatrava
Olympic Stadium (Beijing) - Herzog and De Mueron
Aquatics centre (London) - Zaha Hadid (not built yet)

As you can see this causes some problems, as some are very recent/ future venues, this was the main reason I initially limited the proposal to just one site.

I hope that clarifies a little why I initially limited the choice to just Munich, but I like the idea of perhaps making it an International Olympic site as the reflects international appeal/ heritage.

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