Launch Slideshow

Esto Gallery: Forms of Past Olympics

Esto Gallery: Forms of Past Olympics

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    © David Sundberg / Esto

    The Beijing National Olympic Stadium for the 2008 Olympics, aka the Bird's Nest, by Herzog & de Meuron with Ai Weiwei.

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    © Tim Griffith / Esto

    The Bird's Nest under construction before the 2008 Olympics.

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    © David Sundberg / Esto

    The Beijing National Olympic Stadium (Bird's Nest) during the 2008 Olympics.

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    © Ezra Stoller / Esto

    Tokyo Olympic Facilities, Metropolitan gymnasium for the 1964 Olympics.

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    © Ezra Stoller / Esto

    Tokyo Olympic Facilities for the 1964 Olympics.

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    © David Sundberg / Esto

    Wu Ke Song Basketball Stadium, Beijing China, by the Beijing Architecture Research Institute.

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    © Alan Karchmer / Esto

    Athens Olympic Sports Complex for the 2004 Olympics, by Santiago Calatrava.

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    © Alan Karchmer / Esto

    Athens Olympic Sports Complex for the 2004 Olympics, by Santiago Calatrava.

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    © Alan Karchmer / Esto

    Athens Olympic Sports Complex for the 2004 Olympics, by Santiago Calatrava.

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    © David Sundberg / Esto

    Beijing National Aquatics Centre for the 2008 Olympics, aka the Water Cube, by PTW Architects, CSCEC International Design, and Arup Engineering.

It’s now only a few days before the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics in London, and we at ARCHITECT have put together a sample of some of the iconic stadia of previous games, as captured by the lenses of Esto’s photographers. Tokyo’s 1964 Games featured the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium by the Pritzker Prize–winning Fumihiko Maki, among other notable projects. In 2004, Santiago Calatrava’s Olympic Stadium stole the spotlight with its dynamic retractable glass roof and curvaceous form; he also designed the Velodrome for that year’s games. Beijing’s 2008 Olympiad saw the first collaboration between Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron, which yielded the Bird’s Nest, while Michael Phelps dominated the swimming at the Water Cube.

For more coverage on this year’s Olympic buildings (and a chance to earn 1 LU hour of AIA/CES credit), check out Aaron Seward's post.