Neues Olympiadorf

May, 2010

Neues Olympiadorf is a new Olympic Village for the 2018 Winter Games in Munich, Germany.  Re-using the site of the 1972 summer games, the Neues Olympiadorf attempts to model a contemporary understanding of sustainability in the same way that the 1972 Olympiadorf was a showcase for sustainability in its time.  Ecological relationships are created at three scales – the complex, the housing block and the unit.

The complex is sited at the southwest corner of the large Olympic Park, the stadiums to the north, fields and a man-made forested hill to the east.  A major arterial runs on the western edge of the site with a patch of urban fabric to the south.  The site, therefore, straddles the edge of the site, mediating the dense urban fabric of five-story block buildings to the west and the expansive park to the east.  A hybridized block structure is employed to create a gradation within a field of buildings, mediating the appropriate scales from urban edge to park.  A series of infrastructures tie the field of buildings to the site—canals, roads, paths, open spaces and tree alleys.  Each network ties the complex into an ecological system related to the urban edge, the park or a mediation between the two.  An urban section through these networks illustrates how the system responds to seasonal changes, providing site drainage, various forms of recreation, and site circulation along the way.

The housing blocks are sited in relationship to solar orientation.  Utilizing a 45-degree grid, buildings are sited to provide well-lit open spaces. Building heights are limited so that no building casts a shadow on another based on the sun angle at the winter solstice.  Building massing is composed such that taller buildings are allowed where larger open spaces exist to the north, thereby allowing larger shadows.   The building is sited with is north to a strong street edge and its south to an open space.  Each open space defines a semi-private domain of allotment gardens and recreational areas.

The unit embodies the personal relationship to ecological systems.  It is composed around the relationship of person to water cycles, solar orientation, food supply, and waste disposal.  A key factor of this is the provision of open spaces for every unit, especially the light courts that penetrate each building block, bringing daylight, atmospheric conditions, and social interactions into the center of each unit.  Various screening devices are used to mediate this relationship, providing the ability to regulate ones intimacy to nature and one another.