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the sports and culture magazine from make architects

WELCOME Welcome to Play magazine, which celebrates the success of the London 2012 Olympics with a collection of articles linked to some of Make’s sports, leisure and cultural projects. Make’s Handball Arena - otherwise known as The Copper Box - is one of four permanent venues on the Olympic Park and the third biggest indoor arena in London. It was host to some amazing competitions during the Olympic and Paralympic games and we are now looking forward to seeing it transformed into a multipurpose community facility, to be opened in the summer of 2013. ken shuttleworth


2 expert eye



hand-to-hand combat


just a game?


12 rolled gold

Three architects from Make discuss issues in sports, cultural and leisure building design.

The secrets of the most dominant handball team in the world.

What is the future for English football’s Premier League?

The story of goalball, one of the most dynamic sports in the Paralympic programme.





judo’s big fight

climate control

all rhodes to london


The battle to preserve traditions in a modernising sport.

A Make expert explains the challenges of designing sports and leisure venues in deserts.

Fashion designer Zandra Rhodes talks about her work on the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Brain injury is sidelining more ice hockey pros than ever. Is the equipment to blame?





play the old way

a walk on the wild side

Dragon boats, yak racing and ta’i chi: how the Chinese are preserving their traditional sports.

The Make-designed South Park Hub in London’s Olympic Park is the latest green space to brighten up a major city.

trying to stay cool

The battle in extreme action sports between those who desire Olympic status and those who think it’s a curse.

famous five

Some of Make’s architects choose their favourite sports and leisure venues around the world.



three of make’s architects explore key issues in the design of modern sports, cultural and leisure buildings.

IAN LOMAS Drawing huge crowds to a sports event or a show is the easy part. Provided the stars due to perform are bright enough, the tickets will sell. But this is just half the job. At Make, we know how crucial it is to ensure spectators are truly thrilled by their visit to a sports or entertainment venue. Not only does this mean they’ll spend more money on merchandise, food and drink (what’s known in the trade as longer ‘dwell time’), but they’ll also be guaranteed to return for future events. This was at the forefront of our minds when we worked on the design of Las Vegas Arena. We were chosen for the project thanks to our original design style. Instead of envisaging yet another sumptuous, flash-looking building (there’s certainly no lack of those in Las Vegas), we opted for something much more restrained and elegant. And we wanted it to be dramatic as soon as you spotted it from afar. Once inside, it needed to be dramatic, too. Instead of channelling spectators through enclosed corridors – which is standard practice in sports and entertainment venues – we prefer to open up access routes so that visitors can see each other moving around different parts of the venue, and to open up the exteriors of buildings, giving people views across the city it inhabits. So when it came to the Las Vegas Arena we included a huge façade that could be opened up during the cooler months of the year, allowing visitors to enjoy the desert air and the city atmosphere. Great if they want to hang around after the event has finished and use the stadium bars and restaurants. And, of course, extra revenue for the stadium owners.

play / the experts

Think outside the box

Engage with the locals

Stuart Fraser

Stuart Blower

Make may not be well known for designing sports and cultural buildings – there are other practices which are more specialised in this field – but where we steal a march on our rivals is in our ability to think outside the box. Yes, we respect all the necessary building regulations. Yes, we incorporate all the basic demands of a huge public venue. But we don’t let this prevent us from designing buildings for real people. Too many sports venues are soulless, functional boxes. It’s almost as if architects are working from a single template, afraid to give their buildings character. That’s not how we work at Make. Not for us an identikit arena. Every venue is different; every site is different. Our mission is to give each of our buildings a totally unique character. Sports or music fans should feel a shared bonding as they walk up to their venue. The route from the car parks or the public transport hubs should allow them to feel part of a single, vibrant entity as they walk together in crowds. They might see glimpses of the sports field or the inside of the stadium as they get closer. There should be cafés and shops outside the venue – either purpose-built or part of the local high street – where they can congregate before the start of the event; where they can savour the atmosphere and build-up. Take the Handball Arena in London’s Olympic Park, for example. When we designed this we wanted to be sure spectators would engage with the venue from the very first moment they saw it – approaching from a distance – right up until the moment they left.

It’s astounding how sports or cultural venues can inject new life into an entire city quarter. Here at Make we see stadia and entertainment venues as the new cathedrals – grand, inspiring structures at the heart of communities where the public can congregate and engage with one another. It wasn’t always like this. During the 1980s and early 1990s it was common practice to build sports and entertainment venues on barren brownfield sites at the edge of cities. Surrounded by huge seas of car parks, they were soulless places, shut down for much of the week between events. We know we can do so much better than that. We want to use the venues we design to reconnect whole communities, and to improve their daily lives. A good example is the masterplan we did for the new Tottenham Hotspur Football Club stadium, in London. As well as a stadium, it has been designed to be a place of work, a place for kids to visit after school, a place for locals to eat, drink, shop and congregate; in short, a catalyst for the regeneration of one of the most down-at-heel parts of London. But at the same time we wanted it to engage closely with the high street that runs alongside it, making it much more part of the community and giving local businesses a real boost. The two venues we designed for King Abdullah Sports City, in Saudi Arabia, stemmed from a similar desire to engage local communities. All along we knew we had to create a venue that would suit the needs of top-level athletes, but at the same time provide easy-to-access facilities for recreational users.

“We see stadia and entertainment VENUES as the new cathedrals – grand, inspiring structures at the heart of communities.”


both olympic and world champions, the french men’s handball team will be favourites for gold in the make-designed handball arena at this summer’s olympics. nicolas chardon, director of a new film about the team, finds out how his national side has become so dominant.


TO-HAND COMBAT Every once in a while the olympic games give fans the chance to see an incredible team in total domination. Remember the 1992 US basketball dream team, with Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson? Or the 1980 US ice hockey team which managed, against all the odds, to upset the mighty Soviets? History may even look back on 2008’s world record Jamaican 4 x 100m relay team as a true classic. This time round, in London, it’s the sport of handball which will feature a dominant dream team. French men’s handball, to be precise. ‘Les Experts’, as they’re known back home, are arguably the greatest handball team of all time : gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 ; world champions in 2009 and 2011 ; European champions in 2010. No other handball team in history has triumphed in so many world-class tournaments. Competing in Make’s Handball Arena, on the west side of London’s Olympic Park, they are favourites to take the gold medal again this time round.

To understand how they first rose to the top of their sport you need to rewind back to the 1990s, when they initially made their mark. Back then, their coach Daniel Costantini introduced his players to professional training methods for the first time. A surprise medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona gave the team the springboard they needed to then triumph in the 1995 world championship. It was actually the first time a French team had ever won a world title. (Remember, this was three years before Zinedine Zidane and his colleagues brought home football’s World Cup.) As current star handballer Nikola Karabatic explains of his forerunners : “At the time, they came from nowhere. The players made an unimaginable effort to reach that level through immense hard work and self-sacrifice.” Back in the 1990s, the team were known as ‘Les Barjots’, meaning ‘The Crazy Ones’. As Les Barjots gradually retired, the next generation had to work to stamp their authority on the sport. It took five years or so for the team to reach the top of

play / french handball

Daniel Narcisse of France shoots for goal at London 2012.


This team has known only two coaches in the past 25 years which has helped foster long-term strategy and player

Cedric Sorhaindo in action at the Copper Box.

the world again, and to fully integrate young players such as Didier Dinart, Jérôme Fernandez and goalkeeper Thierry Omeyer, all now linchpins of the squad. This successful integration of new players is one of the key reasons for current French domination. In 2003 Nikola Karabatic, just 18 at the time, first won his place in the team. “I remember developing my skills with star players whose images I had on posters in my bedroom,” he says. “It was incredible for me to become part of the team that had had such an influence on me when I was younger.” 2003 was also the first major competition for new coach Claude Onesta, who took over after Costantini’s 16 years at the helm. Despite several upsets, including elimination from the Athens Olympics at the hands of the Russians, Onesta managed to lead his boys to victory in the 2006 European championships. From then on ‘Les Experts’, as the new generation were now known, were unbeatable. “Once you’ve tasted victory, you very quickly feel the need to taste it again,” says Karabatic, whose father represented Yugoslavia in handball at the Moscow

Olympics in 1980. “At each tournament we won, I experienced such intense emotion with my teammates that, as soon as the next tournament came around, I felt the need to relive that.” There are also certain technical reasons for France’s success. For the last 20 years their defensive play has been outstanding, a constant thorn in the side for teams that challenge them. During the 1990s they often opted for a 5-1 formation, with five players guarding the back of the court, and one attacker up front. Jackson Richardson played a key role in this solid defence, constantly hampering any attacks, and often stealing possession to launch vicious counter attacks. Nowadays the French defence relies on three strong players at the back, creating a wall that attacking teams struggle to breach. Then, up front, there’s the pivotal Bertrand Gille, with central defender Didier Dinart – arguably the best handball defender in the world – just behind him. The final line of defence is goalkeeper Thierry Omeyer, also considered the world’s best for his position.

play / french handball

Olympic Handball Arena London, UK With its huge, 3,000-square metre copper façade, the Handball Arena is one of the most impressive and eye-catching venues in London’s Olympic Park. It’s also the third biggest indoor arena in the capital. This summer it’s being used for the Olympic handball and modern pentathlon competitions, and the Paralympic goalball event. Make purposefully designed it to be very different to existing sports arenas. Inside is a 2,750-square metre field of play surrounded by a multi-coloured interior and retractable seating for up to 7,000 people. Vistors enter via a glazed concourse encircling the building that offers views of the sports action within. Dozens of light-pipes fitted into the roof allow natural

Consistency has played its part in France’s success, too. Most sports have a regular turnover of coaches. Not French handball, however. This men’s team has known only two coaches (Costantini and Onesta) in the past 25 years, something which has helped foster long-term strategy and player development. The importance of patience and hard work shouldn’t be underestimated. Should Les Experts win gold again in London, France will see thousands of skilled youngsters striving for a place in the national squad. Since the gold medal in Beijing, handball has developed meteorically across the entire nation. There are now more than 400,000 players licensed to the French handball federation (the FFHB). That number’s sure to grow. “It’s crucial that we pass on to kids the desire to play well in handball,” says Karabatic. “We’ve got to get kids dreaming about success. It really makes me happy to know that kids see me competing on the handball court and that makes them want to play the sport. Wonderful.” 6/7

light to illuminate the venue, saving up to 40 per cent on lighting costs. A rainwater harvesting system will collect water from the roof, dramatically reducing usage. After the Olympics, the venue will operate as a leisure and training facility for use by the local community. The arena’s flexible design – including retractable seating systems for quick and easy adaption – also enables it to operate as a high-capacity spectator venue for sports and music events.

JU$T A GAME? england’s premier league, the world’s most famous football league, is set to undergo radical changes over the next few years. jon hotten, from sky sports, finds out from experts just how radical they might be.

play / english premier league

The recent resurgence of the english premier league’s Manchester City marks a significant shift for a competition that has been won by only four clubs in its 19-year history. Celebrated, marketed and sold around the world for its unpredictable excitement, the Premier League is, like most sports competitions, a conservative organisation resistant to change. And for perhaps the first time in its existence, its ruthless ascendency will be challenged by forces outside of its control. Based in England, it is now in essence an international business. Its top six clubs are all foreign-owned: Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal by Americans, Chelsea by Russia’s Roman Abramovich, Manchester City by UAE politician Sheikh Mansour, and Tottenham Hotspur by the Bahama-based British businessman Joe Lewis. The personal funding of all these proprietors has manifestly increased the power of their clubs. However, unrestricted spending – the engine that has driven their businesses – will soon be prevented by new legislation from Europe’s governing body, UEFA. The Financial Fair Play rule, designed to ensure that clubs cannot compete in European competitions if they do not break even, will be in full effect by the 2013/2014 season. According to Daniel Geey, an associate with Field Fisher Waterhouse, who specialises in football and the law, the immediate effect of the legislation has been a slowing of spending. “There’s no doubt that the trend from the summer window was that less money was spent by the top clubs,” he says. “That was a demonstration of their understanding of the constraints that they have to live within.”

Yet the Premier League depends on bringing the world’s best and most marketable players to its clubs, and new challenges are emerging: Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League have lured Nicolas Anelka from Chelsea on wages of £175,000 per week, for example. Another Chinese club, Dalian Aerbin, have offered Didier Drogba a three-year deal worth £30 million. Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala are paying Samuel Eto’o £17.5 million a season. “These are new and unpredictable markets,” Geey adds. For the 14 or so less successful Premier League clubs, the battle is one for survival whilst running a business in which player wages regularly account for 70 per cent of turnover. “Clubs are not run in a normal business fashion,” says Brendan Guilfoyle, one of England’s leading insolvency practitioners, who has run administrations at football clubs Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Luton Town. “And if you do try and run them in the normal fashion then you are reviled by either the industry or the fans. If you are living within your means, you are probably nearer the bottom of the league than the top. I don’t see that changing.” Key to the riches that the Premier League distributes are the revenues generated by the sale of its television rights. “Google and Apple might potentially get involved in the bidding for rights,” says Daniel Geey, “and the more competition, the greater likelihood that rights fees will increase. You have a very popular league and a broadcaster like Sky willing to pay vast amounts.” Currently the Premier League operates a collective bargaining agreement that distributes the fees between its

“If you try to run football clubs in the normal fashion, you are reviled by the industry or the fans.” brendan guilfoyle, football insolvency practitioner


member clubs. But could the top sides ever negotiate individually? “Individual selling would probably only benefit the top six sides,” says Geey. “The Premier League constitution states that in order for a resolution to pass, you need 14 out of the 20 clubs to agree.” Perhaps we might instead see a Premier League Mark II for smaller clubs currently striving for membership. Or even a wider European Super League? “Back in 1991, I’m not sure anyone would have believed that the Premier League clubs would have essentially kept all of their money earned under the auspices of [governing body] the FA without distributing it downwards,” Geey adds. “Never underestimate the power people have to do things.” The power of the finances remains dependent on the quality of the product. Jonathan Wilson is a leading football writer and expert on tactical developments in the sport. “There’s a constant energy to it that other leagues still lack,” he says. “But it has changed. If you looked 10 years ago you would have seen big players like Patrick Vieira or Roy Keane in midfield. Now, the change in the offside law has, in effect, made the pitch bigger, so smaller players like Luca Modric at Spurs and David Silva at Manchester City can flourish.”

Wilson also identifies the importance of clubs developing their own talent. He cites Spanish club FC Barcelona as an example of how players that compete alongside one another for many years can improve radically. Football may be a short-term business, but long-term investment in players really pays off. And what of the people at the sharp end? The fans who pay handsomely for tickets and TV subscriptions? Interestingly, the two most popular football books in the UK’s Christmas market were The End, a compilation of articles from the fanzines of the 1980s, and Got, Not Got, a book of football nostalgia stories. “The book ends with a list of 250 things that have gone missing from the game that we want the FA to reinstate,” says Derek Hammond, author of the latter. “Clearly that’s a joke, but there’s a serious side. All football fans know in their hearts that the changes since the 1980s have gone too far in one direction and that it’s all money-related. It has affected the whole greater football culture.” It’s a salient reminder that amongst all of the grand plans, it is the fans who will ultimately decide the future direction of the game.

Wembley North West Lands.

Tottenham Hotspur FC Masterplan London, UK

Wembley North West Lands London, UK

Make has produced a masterplan for a new stadium for London football club Tottenham Hotspur which is designed to integrate with the local high street and totally regenerate the area around it. Featured in the plan is a state-of-the-art 58,000-capacity stadium, offices, a club museum, a club shop, up to 200 new homes, a 150-bedroom hotel, a supermarket and a huge public space. This mix of uses is to ensure the area remains active and vibrant even on non-match days, thereby giving local businesses a much-needed boost.

The area surrounding Wembley Stadium, in north-west London, is set to be totally transformed thanks to a Make-designed masterplan that incorporates residential accommodation, retail, office and park space. The site earmarked for redevelopment covers 14 acres, and surrounds Brent’s new Civic Centre.

The approach routes to the stadium are considered just as important as the stadium itself. The idea is that fans should enjoy the exciting atmosphere together in the lead-up to matches.

Tottenham Hotspur FC’s proposed new stadium.

There will be 1,300 new dwellings in all, including townhouses, maisonettes, apartments and hotel space. The shopping street will cover up to 30,000 square metres and run parallel to Olympic Way, the famous pedestrian approach to Wembley Stadium. There will also be a one-acre public park, office space, a community hall, allotments and extensive parking for cars and bicycles.

play / english premier league

“All football fans know in their hearts that the changes since the 1980s have gone too far in one direction, and that it’s all money-related.� derek hammond, author of got, not got.

10 / 11

“You have to learn to read the sound. You have to read whether the ball’s coming straight and fast, whether it’s swerving, whether it’s bouncing.” british goalball player, jessica luke

this summer, the make-designed handball arena, in the olympic park, plays host to the paralympic goalball competition. top player jessica luke (right) explains the intricacies of her sport.

ROLLED To the uninitiated, it looks like six football goalkeepers playing a vicious game of ten-pin bowling… all blindfolded, and in complete silence. This is the Paralympic sport of goalball. This summer it will be one of the 20 sports on offer at the London Paralympics. The rules of the sport are simple: two teams of three position themselves either end of an 18-metre court, all wearing blackout masks so that the partially sighted have no advantage. One player then hurls the ball along the floor as hard as possible towards the goal of the opposing team, all of whom dive across the floor in an effort to block it. Two bells inside the ball alert them to its trajectory, which explains the silence during play. Either a goal is scored or the defenders trap the ball, after which play switches ends and defenders become attackers. Often, the ball-thrower will spin round, like a hammer thrower, before unleashing the ball at speeds up to 60mph towards the opposite goal.

Jessica Luke is one of Britain’s top three female goalball players. Partially sighted since birth, she says the trickiest aspect of the sport is learning to read the trajectory of the ball using hearing alone. It’s the ultimate test of hand-ear coordination. “You have to learn to read the sound,” she explains. “You have to read whether the ball’s coming straight and fast, whether it’s swerving, whether it’s bouncing. Once you learn to track, the skill becomes instinctive. That’s what makes a good player.” The sport may look simple – essentially it’s an extended penalty shoot-out – however, there are many crafty tactics involved. Before throwing, players often cradle the ball so that the opposing team can’t hear the bells and work out where the shot’s coming from. The ball can be rolled straight and very hard, in an effort to blast through the wall of defenders. (One Finnish players spins his body for three full revolutions before unleashing.) Or, in order to outfox defenders, it can be swerved.

play / goalball

Most shots are aimed for the gaps between the defenders, or for the corners of the goal. Full-toss throws aren’t permitted. Goalball was first invented in 1946 by an Austrian and a German, as part of an effort to rehabilitate blinded veterans from the Second World War. Introduced to the Paralympic programme at Toronto in 1976, it has been growing in popularity ever since, and is now played in over 100 nations worldwide. At the Beijing Paralympics, China took gold in the men’s event, while USA took gold in the women’s. Although Jessica and her British teammates would normally have qualified automatically for the London Paralympics thanks to their host nation status, the federation that governs their sport made them work hard for their place. Both the men’s and women’s team had to prove they were strong enough to hold their own among the world’s elite. As Jessica explained before she knew the British teams were definitely competing: “They don’t want us to go out there


in Great Britain tracksuits and lose badly. I agree with them. If you go to the Paralympics, you want to be challenging other teams, and heading for medals. Not just turning up for fun.” A recent performance saw Jessica and her teammates lose narrowly to the current world champions China by a score of 1-0. Nevertheless, come August 30th, when the Paralympic goalball competition starts in the Handball Arena, Jessica and her teammates will need their wits about them, and their ears peeled if they’re to challenge the top teams in the world. “Fortunately there are really good acoustics in the arena,” she says. “And there’s a real atmosphere to it.” At the moment, the British teams get to train there once a week. Jessica says this is quite enough. The rest of the time she practises elsewhere. “I wouldn’t want to train there too much. If you’re going to the Paralympics, you don’t want the venue to feel too familiar. You want to feel it’s really special; something incredible.” Star of the French team, Nikola Karabatic.

12 / 13


for decades, judo purists in the far east have been fighting with modernisers to preserve the sport’s ancient traditions. will they submit to the latest rule changes? judo writer barnaby chesterman finds out.

play / judo


Judo has come a long way since it evolved, over a century ago, from jiu-jitsu, a fighting style that originated on the battlefields of feudal Japan. Now that it’s firmly established as an Olympic sport, gone are the weapons, kicks, punches and leg-locks; anything, in fact, designed to cause excessive pain or death. Instead, what remains is an elegant and artistic sport marked with chivalry, respect and grace. By the end of the 19th century, hand-to-hand combat was a dying art on the battlefield, with increasingly sophisticated weaponry rendering it almost obsolete. This was when jiu-jitsu specialist, Dr Jigoro Kano founded judo by transforming his deadly martial art into a safe and controlled sporting activity; something more practical and useful for every day life. He took out striking and some of the most dangerous joint-locks, and brought in foot-sweeps that allowed a thrower to control the fall of the person whose balance he had just whisked away. 130 years on, and there is a different sort of revolution sweeping through the sport that Kano created. This time the motivation is not safety and practicality, but instead universal interest and public attraction. Since Romanian-born businessman Marius Vizer took over the International Judo Federation (IJF) in 2007, he has been trying to drag his sport into the 21st century. Before his arrival, the popularity of judo in its biggest market – Japan – had been waning. In France, its secondary market, it wasn’t a widely viewed or appreciated activity. So Vizer fearlessly swept aside the concerns of the traditionalists – mostly from Japan – who resisted change, pushing through an ambitious publicity plan. Now, according to the IJF communications officer Nicolas Messner, the last judo world championships were shown live in 130 territories worldwide; quite an impressive spread. Before Vizer’s reign, previous president Park Yong-Sung had already introduced blue judo suits ( judogi), aimed at making the sport more attractive and understandable to television audiences. Rather than a whir of two bodies, draped in white, flying through the air, now one fighter wears blue and the other white, making identification easier and the sport more accessible for spectators. Vizer has made his own changes. He’s done away with one of the four scores awarded for a successful technique, changed the style of the scoreboards to make them clearer to the layman and also, perhaps most significantly, banned techniques that resemble wrestling.

Rather than a whir of two bodies, draped in white, now one fighter wears blue and the other white, making identification easier for spectators. Whereas previous modifications had brought consternation from traditionalists at the Kodokan – the home of judo in Japan – this latter rule change was greeted warmly. By purging judo of the leg-grabs, dropping and sacrificial techniques popular in wrestling – a style dominated by Russians, Iranians and Caucasian countries – pure, classical judo has been allowed to flourish once again. And there are none better than the Japanese when it comes to performing the oldest throws, those preferred by Kano himself. It has also made for more spectacular and attacking judo, something that has pleased television executives. According to Messner, at the 2009 world championships in Rotterdam, 35 per cent of fights ended in a move called ippon, the equivalent of a boxing knockout. “That figure had risen to 60 per cent last year at the Paris Worlds,” Messner adds. “In some categories it was as high as 75 to 80 per cent. The Japanese have benefitted as they can do their style of judo again. It’s attacking, it’s spectacular. Techniques that had disappeared have reappeared.” So the sport of judo is changing yet again. But this time, both the modernisers and the traditionalists seem to be content. Vizer may just have managed to find a happy medium.

Dartford Dojo Dartford, UK Home of the Dartford Judo Club, on the outskirts of London, this stunning venue is being used by the world’s top judoka in the run-up to the Olympic Games. An elegantly simple pavilion on the outside, it houses training areas, changing facilities, a club room and a judo dojo with a 200-seat gallery surrounding it. The design was inspired by the judo philosophy of achieving maximum gain with minimum effort, and was constructed to a very tight budget, proving that sports venues can still be beautiful and effective without costing a fortune.

14 / 15

CLIMATE CONTROL with many middle-eastern nations bidding for major sports events, it’s becoming increasingly important to tailor the design of sports and entertainment buildings to desert climates. make architect john prevc explains how this is done.

play / desert architecture

Sun, sand and searing heat. The climatic conditions of deserts can make things very difficult indeed for architects. “We have to see them as an extra challenge,” says John Prevc, an architect at Make who has worked on two major desert designs in Saudi Arabia – the King Abdullah Sports City (KASC), near Jeddah, and the Al Faisaliyah Center, in Riyadh (with Foster and Partners). “Yes, it’s extremely hot. And there’s always sand in the air. But with the correct approach, these problems can be overcome.”


With some desert temperatures exceeding 45 degrees Celsius in the middle of the day, building roofs have to be designed rather cleverly. Small, traditional desert buildings, such as those made of adobe, have thick roofs to insulate against the heat. But sports and leisure buildings need to be much larger to accommodate the activities inside, and it’s not economical to have large-span, thick roofs. “To get round this problem, architects use mineral wools as roof insulation,” Prevc explains. “They are very light but great at reflecting the desert sun.” The use of shading is important, too. For the KASC Recreation Centre, Make designed huge synthetic polymer shades to cover the skateboard and BMX park, and the outdoor tennis courts. It was an opportunity for high-tech design to blend with the local culture. “The design crossed both cultures,” Prevc explains. “The design of the shading was a technology borne out of the West. But image-wise, it fitted very much into the context of a traditional Bedouinstyle desert tent.” With so much sunshine on offer, desert buildings can obviously benefit from solar power. “You have sunshine pretty much all day long,” Prevc stresses. “It’s nonsense not to use it.” Yet, even when they’re boosted by the sun’s rays, desert buildings still struggle to achieve self-sufficiency in terms of

energy. This is because of the need for extreme airconditioning. However, Prevc explains that, in the near future, ground-source cooling systems will enable air-conditioning, even in the desert, to become much more efficient. Coupled with solar power, this could mean zero energy bills.


The other major headache of desert climes is of course all the sand. Prevc says architects need to design building exteriors that can withstand years of attack from wind-borne sand. “Hard stone finishes are the best bet. There are also some good, hard-wearing paint finishes. But plasticised exteriors will eventually start to wear and break away. Glass exteriors need to be treated to stop them turning misty over time.” It’s also important for maintenance workers to constantly sweep away the sand deposits that inevitably accumulate on the roofs and along the base walls of desert buildings. Sand wreaks havoc with any exterior mechanics on a building. “Swing doors are far more sensible than sliding doors,” says Prevc. “And it’s better if thermal shading is fixed rather than retractable. In the KASC Aquatics Centre we suggested fixed thermal shading for this very reason.”


In some desert locations, especially in coastal areas, rain can occasionally be an issue. KASC was due to be built near Jeddah, on the Red Sea coast. In the past it has been struck by very heavy thunderstorms. December 2010 saw one of the most violent, with up to five cm of rainfall recorded. “In the designs we had to include large downpipes and extensive gutter networks to drain all the water away,” Prevc explains. “Yes, it sounds strange, but in the desert, as well as all the other climatic extremes, you sometimes get extreme rainfall. It’s just another challenge we have to design for.”

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This image of medieval noblewoman Lady Godiva represents Coventry’s 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

play / godiva awakes

ALL RHODES TO LONDON legendary fashion designer zandra rhodes is working alongside make on the 2012 cultural olympiad. in this interview she discusses her role in the project and remembers former clients such as princess diana, freddie mercury and diana ross. by ben cove. 18 / 19

This summer, there will be a very strange vehicle on the roads north of London: an enormous bicycle-powered procession of dancers, musicians and actors, at the head of which will be a six metre-high mechanical puppet. It’s all part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the cultural programme of the London Olympics. Called Godiva Awakes, the puppet represents Lady Godiva, the medieval noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked on horseback through the city of Coventry as a protest against taxation. Both Zandra Rhodes and Make have collaborated on this rather unorthodox project. The former as designer of the puppet’s clothing, and the latter as architects of the structure in which the puppet will be housed after the Games. Coventry-based event and performance organisers Imagineer Productions are designing and coordinating this world-class piece of public art, with contributions from mechanics, artists, theatre makers, puppeteers and engineers. “I’m very proud to be a part of the Olympics in my home nation,” boasts Zandra, now 71 years old but with hair as bright pink as ever. “Lady Godiva was a significant figure in British history. I’ll be trying to capture her spirit, so expect an iron corset that shimmers, but is also transparent, connoting freedom.” For Zandra, it’s yet another design that will reinforce her reputation as something of a maverick. Yet, all along, it’s a reputation she never originally set out to cultivate. “I wasn’t motivated to make an international statement. That all happened by accident,” she admits. “I believed in my vision, but I didn’t look for affirmation from others. My litmus test has always been that if I like the design, then that’s enough credibility. And if others like it, then great.” As it turned out, the young Zandra was far from alone in liking her early designs. Armed with a collection of eccentric

styles borne out of her background in textiles, this daughter of a truck driver from Kent, in south-east England, rapidly rose to prominence – from college student to the very summit of international fashion – in the 1960s and 1970s. “It all happened quickly,” she recalls. “So I didn’t really step back and analyse the success, because I was living it.” The big hitters within London’s emerging fashion fraternity were fascinated by this eccentric, intrepid character who had burst onto the scene with such zest. Zandra soon enjoyed a blossoming reputation among the great and the good. By the late-1960s, stars from stage and screen were flocking to her London shop. “Not only was there suddenly huge demand for my work, but I saw my ideas influencing others. I was thrilled.” Zandra was the brightest talent in a new wave of pioneering London-based designers who would take Britain to the forefront of the international fashion scene. Her work – edgy, impulsive and overtly feminine – was to define the era. The swinging Sixties had buried Britain’s post-war conservatism, instead promoting a relaxation of social taboos. Meanwhile, Zandra’s expressive colour and creativity fittingly captured the imagination of the time, as the punk era of anarchic symbolism spiked into full flow across the UK. Zandra’s concepts encapsulated the social trend. Her trademark innovations such as jewelled safety pins, denim tears and exposed seams, earned her the popular epithet the ‘Princess of Punk.’ But the ambitious designer would not allow her homeland to become a boundary to her appeal. Before long, she crossed the Atlantic to New York. “I couldn’t believe the way I was received in America,” she reminisces. “Suddenly I was on the cover of magazines like Vogue. Everyone was raving about me.” One such fan was soul singer Diana Ross. “Diana looked magnificent in my red chiffon and pleated jackets,” Zandra says.

“I couldn’t stop working. That would be like accepting I’ve run out of ideas and I don’t foresee that happening any time soon.”

play / godiva awakes

She later worked with Freddie Mercury and Brian May, of rock band Queen, on their live show costumes. “They’d come to my studio in the evenings and we’d exchange ideas. I never knew them too well because they were always off on tour, and I didn’t have the time to be a groupie,” she jokes. By the 1980s, Zandra was a global fashion icon. But she was still taken by surprise when another Diana, this time the Princess of Wales, came knocking on her door. “Lady Di was very complimentary about my work, which was marvellous. We both wanted to have a huge slit up one side of her dress, but she said she couldn’t possibly do so because the paparazzi would try to take pictures of her knickers as soon as she got out of the car.” Zandra’s list of past clients might already read like a who’s who of popular culture, but she still harbours ambitions to work alongside one further star in particular. “Oh, Lady Gaga is great,” asserts Zandra. “There’d be a synergy between her and me. We’d create something spectacular.” Meanwhile she spends much of her time running the London Fashion and Textiles Museum, which she set up back in 1997, with the help of her partner, movie theatre magnate Salah Hassanein. She seems to have lost none of the energy or passion which helped make her one of the most significant, groundbreaking designers of the 20th Century. But surely, now that she’s into her eighth decade, she’s having thoughts of retirement? “I couldn’t stop working,” she says, vehemently shaking her head. “That would be like accepting I’ve run out of ideas and I don’t foresee that happening any time soon.” With that, the Princess of Punk struts off, back to her London museum, ready for another day of believing in her vision, dressing the stars, and being a maverick.

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Godiva Awakes 2012 Cultural Olympiad Godiva Awakes is one of the most stunning elements of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the cultural programme of the London Olympics. A huge bicycle-powered procession that will travel from Coventry to London, it will feature dancers, actors, musicians and pyrotechnicians all performing around a huge mechanical puppet of Lady Godiva, the medieval noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked on horseback through the streets of Coventry as a protest against taxation.

Make designed the permanent structure that represents Godiva’s home. Clad in stainless steel, it features two seven metre-high glazed end walls and eight stainedglass windows. The interior represents Godiva’s bed chamber, with chain mail curtains hanging down from the roof. After the Olympics, the Godiva puppet will be housed permanently inside the structure in the centre of Coventry.

KNOCKOUT Despitestrict strictnew newregulations, regulations, more despite moreand andmore moreice icehockey hockey professionals are being sidelined with severe concussion. professionals are being sidelined with severe concussion. Could could it be the equipment, rather than the style of play, itthat’s be thetoequipment, rather than from the style of play, that’s to blame? george malik, ice hockey website kukla’s korner, findswebsite out. Kukla’s Korner, blame? George Malik, from ice hockey finds out.

play / ice hockey

On a muggy april day in 1999, when Philadelphia Flyers forward Eric Lindros was battered by the hard plastic shoulder pad of an opposing player, it was the beginning of the end of his ice hockey career. He dropped to the ice like a ton of bricks, unconscious. He survived that day but, eventually, after half a dozen further concussions, was forced to retire from the sport. At the time, the offending shoulder-barger didn’t even receive a reprimand. Such manoeuvres were considered all part of the game. Yet, nowadays, should a player intentionally target the head of an opponent, he would be suspended. Concerned about the safety of its players, North America’s National Hockey League (NHL), has changed both its rules and equipment since Lindros’s mishap. Head injuries are still a major part of the sport, however. As 2011 came to a close, a total of 44 players – including the league’s brightest star, Sidney Crosby – had missed over 450 games due to concussion, and the NHL had suspended 24 players for a total of 80 games. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman insists his league is not in crisis. But some players take the opposite view. “I missed eight months of hockey. Eight months of my life was gone,” said concussed Los Angeles Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell. “You’re living in pain every day. You have a headache. It’s tough. You can’t do anything. You can’t read, you can’t drive your car. It hurts.” In some ways, you could argue that the NHL’s rule changes have made things worse. With American football-style tackles outlawed, as well as holding back or hooking players when they’re not in possession of the puck, today’s ice hockey pros are encouraged to use ever more physical play to separate opponents from the puck. The game is now faster, harder-hitting and, to some extent, more violent than it has ever been. It’s true that new rules specifically prohibit hits where players’ heads are the principal points of contact. And it’s true that the new NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan (a hard-hitter himself when he was a player with the Detroit Red Wings), is doling out suspension after suspension for predatory hits. However, the number of concussed players still seems to have skyrocketed.

Las Vegas Arena Las Vegas, USA There’s certainly no shortage of sports and entertainments arenas in Las Vegas. So when Make were commissioned to design a new one, just off Las Vegas Boulevard, they made sure it was very different to anything already built. Instead of trying to compete with the

Today’s ice hockey pros are encouraged to use ever more physical play to separate opponents from the puck. Some purists in the sport have demanded a return to the old hooks and holds which they believe prevented more violent forms of physical contact. But most experts blame the equipment. During Lindros’s time in the league, players began to wear shoulder and elbow pads clad in hard plastic, much like their American football-playing cousins. In theory, the pads protect players from clutching, grabbing, hooks and holds, as well as hard hits. But the hard plastic caps proved to be brutal offensive weapons, too. Now the NHL is insisting that its players cover their old shoulder and elbow pads with at least half an inch of foam, and it’s working with equipment manufacturers to eliminate hard plastic from protective equipment altogether. But players are slow to comply. Gary Bettman wants to avoid any knee-jerk reactions to the problem of concussion. “Playing our game, even a legal hit can result in a concussion,” he says. “We play a very fast-paced, physical game in a closed environment. I think people need to take a deep breath and not overreact.” He stresses how the NHL has established a Department of Player Safety, with strict neurological testing and medical procedures designed to protect the athletes. “We are being extraordinarily proactive,” he adds. Still, when it comes to concussion, the only thing that the sport’s players, coaches, managers and owners can agree on is that there are no easy answers. Perhaps it’s time, metaphorically at least, to bash some heads together.

city’s very ostentatious buildings, they opted for a simple, clear and self-assured design, inspired by the mountain backdrop one can see from the city. Given the region’s extreme desert cimate, it was important that energy use should be as efficient as possible. This will be achieved through collaboration with a team of environmental engineers.

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threatened by the popularity of modern olympic sports, athletes in rural china, and elsewhere within the worldwide chinese diaspora, are doing their utmost to preserve their traditional sports. ben cove learns about dragon boating, cuju and the exceedingly curious yak racing.

The sign at the entrance to huangpu park sports centre was only two square feet in size, but the message couldn’t have been clearer: ‘no dogs and no chinese.’ It appeared late in the 19th Century, in an occupied British quarter of Shanghai. Inside the gates, modern Western sports were enjoyed by imperial missionaries, but such activities remained strictly off limits for the locals. Not that the indigenous inhabitants of China’s largest city were particularly bothered. The notion of competitive sport as a pastime hadn’t occurred to them. It was as alien as the diet or dialect of their colonial visitors. The Chinese didn’t even have a word for ‘sport’ until the 1800s, which is all the more staggering when you consider the ancient relics that have been unearthed, proving that Chinese society partook in exercises as far back as 10,000 years ago. Indeed the forerunner to soccer – cuju – and early forms of golf and wrestling all originated in China thousands of years before Western factions introduced organised sports to the region.

While foreign influences slowly rationalised sport in the East around the turn of the 20th Century, experts from China’s own traditional activities were in turn inspired to travel west. T’ai chi ch’uan, a martial art with self-defensive as well as spiritual, health and psychological benefits (now known universally as t’ai chi) originally gained popularity across China during the Song Dynasty of the 10th and 11th centuries. It was first presented to the West by Choy Hok Pang who emigrated to the USA in the early 1900s. Pang was the first recognised international proponent of a sport that has since become a regular hobby all over the world, and now serves as a backbone to China’s modern health service. USA-based instructor, Bill Douglas, runs World T’ai Chi Day, an event spreading tai chi’s gospel across uncharted territory. “It’s now an international phenomenon,” he beams. “Fun, but also valuable on so many levels.” In 2011, Bill organised events in 80 countries worldwide. “The world is fascinated by ancient Chinese culture,” he says.

play / china’s traditional sports

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“That, coupled with the pervasive nature of t’ai chi, makes it a hit, even in far-flung outposts. The essence of t’ai chi is the same now as it was centuries ago. Something this special could only have been created in China, where thousands of years of uninterrupted historical evolution provided perfect development. While ta’i chi ch’uan evolved, masters had ample opportunity to observe human consciousness and pass knowledge on, so its wisdom remained intact through the dynasties.” Elsewhere there are further old-fashioned Chinese sporting rituals that may not have the same bodily benefits, but do continue to thrive in the 21st Century. Yak racing, a bastion of the Tibetan social calendar for centuries, currently takes place across Tibet and Mongolia, while wrestling and crossbow

archery are all firmly etched into the fabric of the world’s most populous nation. Another emblematic Chinese sport that continues to enjoy broadened horizons in and outside of its motherland, is dragon boat racing. Conceived on the rivers of southern China more than 2,500 years ago, it is inextricably linked with the legend of Qu Yuan, a sacred poet and statesman who drowned himself in the Miluo River in a fit of political despair during the Zhou Dynasty in 278 BC. The locals, who revered the writer, are said to have raced out on boats to the scene of Yuan’s suicide, dropping rice cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves into the river to feed him in the afterlife. It soon became a ceremonial annual event, and thus, dragon boat racing was born.

“We had close to 4,000 people competing last year. It’s a celebration of our ancient culture and an education for our kids.” linda cheung, from the san francisco international dragon boat racing festival.

Liangping Sports Centre Liangping, China This stunning design for a multistructure sports centre, in the south-west of China, integrates perfectly with the undulating landscape surrounding it. At ground level, visitors access the concourse of the stadium and the main arena through levelled walkways that connect to gardens, playing fields and sunken pools of

water. Above the walkways, and connecting the various facilities, are ribbon-like stretches of roofing that both guide visitors and protect them from the heat of the sun in summer. While the main stadium is open-roofed, there is a lattice covering above the spectator seating. The other buildings are sheltered beneath roofs filled with transparent ETFE pillows

which allow natural light to flood in. All the buildings sit slightly below ground level which keeps the interiors well insulated. Air is drawn into these interiors via huge ducts which use the thermal energy of the ground to pre-cool the air in summer and pre-heat it in winter. Landscaping and planting across the site is designed to encourage biodiversity, while rain water is collected for irrigation.

play / china’s traditional sports

Now the most significant ritualistic tradition in China’s sporting calendar, it is even afforded its own public holiday. Meanwhile, its appeal has spread further than any of the initial rice cake-droppers could ever have imagined. “There is an incredible heritage to the sport,” says Linda Cheung, director of the California Dragon Boat Association. “Just think: dragon boat racing was around two millennia ago, and we’re still competing in its same very primitive form today.” Taking place each September, the San Francisco International Dragon Boat Racing Festival is a colourful event launched by Cheung’s committee of Chinese diaspora in 1996. It has since become one of the most significant celebrations of Chinese sporting culture anywhere outside of China.

“We had close to 4,000 people competing last year,” boasts Cheung. “It’s not just about racing. It’s a celebration of our ancient culture and an education for our kids.” It’s also an indication of just how dominant Chinese culture has become. From Shanghai to San Francisco, and in countless countries in between, China’s ancient sports are thriving more than ever. And at the same time, in modern Olympic sports, it’s Chinese athletes who rule the roost. At the Beijing Olympics they topped the medal table with 51 golds. In London this year they’re sure to enjoy similar success. Those imperial British in the Shanghai sports centre who first pinned up their ‘no dogs and no chinese’ sign 150 years ago would be spluttering on their gin and tonics.

“The world is fascinated by ancient Chinese culture. That, coupled with the pervasive nature of t’ai chi, makes it an instant hit, even in far-flung outposts.” bill douglas, organiser of world t’ai chi day.

play the old way Many of China’s traditional sports are still alive and kicking.

dragon boat racing

Believed to have originated in 278 BC, it’s still popular across China today, mainly on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month each year.


Meaning ‘kick-ball’, this ancient Chinese pastime has a recorded history of more than 2,500 years and is credited as a forerunner to football.

yak racing

Yaks can run surprisingly fast over short distances, as proved in this highly popular spectator sport from in and around the Himalayas. It now features in Tibet’s annual horse festival.

crossbow archery

Archaeological discoveries prove that archery in China dates back 20,000 years.

shuai jiao

An ancient form of wrestling in which contestants wear horned headgear while attempting to butt their opponents. Legend states this technique was used in 2,697 BC by the Yellow Emperor’s army to gore the soldiers of a rebel army to death. Modernday shuai jiao is taught by police and military training academies across China.

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make is helping transform london’s new olympic park into a community and leisure facility after the close of the games. it’s all part of a worldwide trend to turn industrial wasteland into attractive public spaces.


With well over 3,000 parks and green spaces, London is surely one of the greenest capital cities in the world. Now, thanks to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, it’s about to get a whole lot greener. Much of the park has been reclaimed from the industrial wasteland that was there before. One of the key features within it will be Make’s competition-winning South Park Hub, a pavilion building which will contain a café, a roof terrace, and space to host events. It’s positioned at the southern end of the South Park promenade, near the Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Centre and the Orbit. “The building has a simple yet elegant rectilinear form,” says Make’s Stuart Fraser who is heading up the project. “Its prime setting offers strong visual connections with the river and the surrounding park.” Because of the scale and complexity of the sports stadia in the Olympic Park, the South Park Hub will be a low-lying pavilion, subtly stitched into the flowing lines of the surrounding landscape. “We want it to complement the nearby stadia, not compete with them,” Fraser adds. At the heart of the pavilion will be a large, open café space, with a glazed frontage. Covered external seating and the roof terrace will offer panoramic views across the whole park. Fraser says the building has been designed flexibly so that further sections can be added on in the future. “This practical design approach means we’ll be able to create an elegant and well-proportioned pavilion. And we’ll be able to deliver it quickly, despite the challenging budget.” See right for examples of wasteland in other major world cities that has been transformed into innovative green space. play / urban parks

High Line New York City, USA Perched atop a former elevated railway above Manhattan, this linear park stretches a whole mile from New York’s Meatpacking District, up the western side of Manhattan Island, as far as West 30th Street. Its presence has encouraged property developments alongside it and there are now plans to extend the project even further north.

Parc de la Villette Paris, France Filled with dozens of architectural follies, this park on the north-eastern edge of the French capital, is a particualr favourite with Parisians. Over 10 million people visit every year, enjoying the science and music facilities.

Madrid Rio Madrid, Spain Running more than six miles along the Manzanares River, in the Spanish capital, this park was built on top of a network of tunnels that enclose a city motorway within. It weaves together many neighbourhoods that the road had originally cut off from the city centre, and features sports facilities, playgrounds, cafés, restaurants and an urban beach.

Millennium Park Chicago, USA Right in the commercial centre of downtown Chicago, this 24-acre park was built on the site of old car parks, rail yards and former parkland. Below it is a functioning railway station, making it the world’s largest rooftop garden.

Cheonggyecheon Public Park Seoul, South Korea Following the course of a river that runs west to east through downtown Seoul, this park stretches for around five miles. Before development, the stream was almost dry, which meant the construction team had to divert thousands of tons of water from the neighbouring Han River into it.

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TRYING TO STAY COOL in some of the world’s most extreme action sports, such as wakeboarding, indoor climbing and roller sports, there’s a battle raging between those who want olympic status, and those who believe it’s a curse. joe boyle investigates.

play / extreme sports

Which elite athlete wouldn’t want olympic gold? Many of those involved in extreme action sports are clamouring for Olympic status. But, at the same time, some of their colleagues believe official recognition risks stifling the maverick spirit that first helped them flourish. What is not up for debate is the growing commercial impact being made by these emerging action sports. A 2011 report by market research firm Mintel concluded that 118 million Americans took part in “action and extreme sports” at least once in 2009. In 2010, equipment sales for these sports rose by nine per cent. Major media organisations have seized upon the commercial opportunities. Fuel TV, a 24/7 channel of news and event coverage in this area, is hosted by Fox. ESPN organise and broadcast the annual summer and winter X Games. Extreme Sports Channel, part of the Extreme International network, appears on the Sky TV platform. “When I started in 1995, extreme sports were a lot smaller than they are now,” says Al Gosling, founder and head of Extreme International. “But all the indicators from a strategic perspective – equipment and clothing – were that they were going to mushroom.” Gosling started with programme production. Now he oversees resort marketing, hotel management and merchandising. The growth of the company mirrors the growth of the sports themselves.

King Abdullah Sports City Jeddah, Saudi Arabia The King Abdullah Sports City development was commissioned by the country’s head of state to tackle lifestyle-related health problems by encouraging younger Saudis to become more active, and also to provide facilities for Saudi Arabia to host major international sports events. The 1,000-hectare masterplan contains seven major venues in total, two of which were designed by Make. First, there’s the Recreation Centre, with facilities for both casual and professional users. With a capacity for up to 2,000 visitors, it includes swimming pools, sports halls, a boathouse, a youth hostel, outdoor sports pitches and an area for extreme and urban sports such as skateboarding, mountain biking, BMX racing and climbing. Then there’s the Aquatics Centre, comprising two swimming-pool halls with a main competition pool, a diving pool, a training pool and seating for 5,000 spectators. Both halls are wrapped by a single, metal solar-shading canopy.

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Extreme International’s promotional literature presents these sports and their participants as fresh and young. Data on three extreme sports in a recent British survey shows the highest participation rates are indeed amongst younger age groups: 20 to 24 years for snow sports, 20 to 24 for mountaineering and 16 to 19 for canoeing. Anecdotal evidence of youth participation is strong, too. Mention sports such as inline skating, skateboarding, mountain biking, BMX or wakeboarding and, in their mind’s eye, few people will picture an athlete older than mid-20s. For many of these youth sports, the next logical step is to gain Olympic status. Some have already done so. Canoeing and kayaking have been represented in some form since 1936, mountain biking appeared in 1996 and BMX in 2008. At the Winter Olympics, snowboarding was accepted in 1998. Others are now trying to gain similar recognition. For the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, wakeboarding and roller sports were amongst seven sports bidding for two available slots. Neither succeeded, losing out to the more conventional rugby sevens and golf. Both will again try again for 2020, as will indoor climbing. In the British sports survey, mountaineering (a broad term that includes indoor climbing) was one of just four sports that showed a growth in participation in the year to October 2011. Football, tennis and rugby union, by contrast, were some of the major sports that had a decrease in participation. Rob Adie, at the British Mountaineering Council [BMC], pinpoints two key reasons for seeking Olympic recognition: the demands of top athletes, and money. “Climbing has a natural hierarchy like most sports,” he says. “There’s an elite end where people are pushing the boundaries and the natural aspiration is to go for the Olympics. The British team currently has no outside funding apart from the small amount it gets from the BMC, nor any sponsors. Recognition would help, as finance would be available from the government.” The opposing viewpoint is that Olympic endorsement undermines the counter-cultural appeal of these sports. “A 16-year-old snowboarder doesn’t care about the Olympics,” says Gosling, unimpressed by the zeal of those seeking official endorsement. “They’re interested in an amazing trick, incredible powder. They’re on the mountain, they’re with their friends, they’re acting in a certain way, they’re wearing the kit and the clothes, they’re having fun.”





Some of Make’s architects choose their favourite sports and leisure venues worldwide.


havre des pas bathing pool St Helier, Jersey

Recently restored to the full splendour of its Victorian heyday, this huge sea-water swimming pool has welcomed many famous guests since it was built in 1895, including Victor Hugo and Lawrence of Arabia. “I learnt to swim here,” says Cara Bamford. “The gates would be opened every day at high tide to let in the sea.”




Budapest, Hungary

Place Saint-Gery, Brussels, Belgium

London, UK

Built in 1913 and designed in the Neo-baroque style by Gyozo Czigler, this thermal bath has been expanded and now features three outdoor and 15 indoor pools.

Essentially just a sandpit in a wooden frame, this has to be one of the simplest sports venues in Europe. But that’s all part of its charm.

“A fabulous mix of rococo decadence on the outside and stripped down Communist chic on the inside,” says Charlotte Wilson.

“It’s a great place to play, cheered on by strangers drinking at the outside tables,” says Frances Gannon.

the szechenyi thermal bath


olympic velodrome Known as ‘The Pringle’, this cycling venue is enveloped by a 360-degree concourse with views across the Olympic Park. “I love its purity of form,” says Philip Twiss. “The external envelope is an expression of the fluidity, dynamism and speed of track cycling.”

p l ay / m a k e fav o u r i t e s



olympiastadion Munich, Germany

With huge canopies of acrylic glass supported by steel cables, the main stadium for the 1972 Olympics was revolutionary for its time. Designed by Gunther Behnisch, it was engineered by Frei Otto. “The engineers on this were the analogue forefathers of today’s engineers who use parametric software,” says Bill Webb.


The sports and culture magazine from Make Architects Tel: +44 (0)20 7636 5151 Email: Twitter: @makearchitects Web: Magazine team: Emily Chicken Sam Evans Denise Ryan Ken Shuttleworth Sarah Worth PLAY was created by: Alma Media International Tel: +44 (0)20 8944 1155 Email: Web:

Editor: Dominic Bliss Art direction and design: Deep Publisher: Tony Richardson Images: Fédération française de handball, Mamédy Doucara, Getty Images, Corbis, Red Bull, Nathan Gallagher, Richard Booth, Imagineer Productions (Andy Moore), Zandra Rhodes, Will Pryce, Select Sports, Mick Rock, LOCOG / London 2012, High Line NYC, Madrid Rio, Millennium Park (Peter Schulz), Vacclav / Shutterstock, Olympiapark München Illustrations: Cover: Nick Chaffe P18: Imagineer Productions (Cogent Elliott)

© Alma Media International Ltd 2012 All material is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of Alma Media International is strictly forbidden. The greatest care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information in this magazine at the time of going to press, but we accept no responsibility for omissions or errors. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Alma Media International or Make Limited.

London 55 Whitfield Street London W1T 4AH United Kingdom +44 (0)20 7636 5151 Birmingham 20 Wharfside Street The Mailbox Birmingham B1 1RD United Kingdom +44 (0)121 213 1340 Beijing Office 3306 Jing Guang Centre Hujialou, Changyong Beijing, China 100020 +86 (0)10 5960 1010 Hong Kong Room 8, Level 8 Admiralty Centre Tower ll 18 Harcourt Road, Admiralty Hong Kong +86 (0)10 5960 1010 Abu Dhabi PO Box 47359 Abu Dhabi, UAE Dubai PO Box 52845 Dubai, UAE

PLAY by Make Architects  

Sports and culture magazine (2012)

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