Architectural insight: Incheon Asiad Main Stadium


One of this year’s biggest sporting events would be the Asian Games 2014. Incheon would be hosting this 17th edition of the games, hence becoming the third South Korean city to host the games (previously Seoul in 1986 and Busan in 2002). It would be held from 19th September to 4th October 2014. A bit of calculation here reveals that we are only seven months away from the opening of the games. Media would usually paid more attention to the main stadium, which will be the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies to be watched millions of people worldwide. It’s the new Incheon Asiad Main Stadium.

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It is designed by Populous (which previously also designed the London 2012’s Olympic Stadium and the recent on-going Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics’s Fisht National Stadium) and will have 60 000 seating capacity. After the games, it will be reduced to single-sided grandstand of 30 000 seats. Well, this is the trend nowadays to reduce large stadium to smaller size to avoid ‘white elephant’ issue and for sustainability. The whole area will also be transformed to people’s park for the city. The stadium is now reaching its final stages of construction and is expected to be finished by April. Well, the design looks quite great, and I can say it’s even better than the London’s Olympic Stadium. Here below is an excerpt from an article: http://www.designboom.com/architecture/populous-to-design-main-stadium-for-2014-incheon-asian-games/ that explains the design concept behind this marvelous sporting venue:

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“The stadium design is based on an asymmetrical configuration with the main corporate
and management facilities located on the permanent western side, creating a more efficient design,
both in terms of construction and operations. The eastern side will be a lighter solution,
the temporary modular seating structure will disappear after the games, and the stadium
reduce down to the single sided grandstand. The building will link into the surrounding parklands;
integrate into the landscape, provide an open accessible gathering place for the people of Incheon.
The roof of the temporary stand becomes the canopy roof of a new post games retail component,
containing shopping mall and supermarket and multiplex cinema chain. The shell that housed
the broadcast component, pre game function spaces and site management of the temporary event
is replaced with vibrant commercial space afterwards, creating a seven day a week attraction
for the local community
,” said Andrew James, Senior Principal at Populous.

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Symbolism is very important in Korean culture with music and dance being part of everyday life. 
The traditional Buddhist ritual dance, the Sung Moo Monk dance provides the image which will be 
reflected perfectly into the architectural drama of the stadium through flowing forms, 
sweeping lines creating movement. The representation of yin and yang is also present through 
the complementary opposites of the masterplan – permanent and temporary sites.

“Although the western stand is permanent; the main façade will be designed to be lightweight
and flowing like the monk’s robes composed of an undulating, translucent material,
a lightweight metal or fabric mesh, an articulated skin, reflecting the sun and the movement
of the sky. The organic form of the metal and fabric roof will appear to float above the stadium,
merging with the landscape at one end, the plaza at the other. The movement and form will be
repeated in the material of the temporary roof on the eastern stand, creating a unified image,
reinforcing the dynamic movement of the dancer,
” says Daekwon Par, Populous Project Designer.

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Image above shows a graphic interpretation of the traditional Buddhist Sung Moo dance which the stadium’s form is based on.

Here below are some latest construction images of the stadium:

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파노라마

The stadium’s impressive design will certainly becomes the spotlight of the Incheon 2014 Asian Games.

(Information and images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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