Framing the games : infrastructure and narrative in post-Olympic Rio

Rachel Rosenberg


Expenditures on Olympic venues serve global spectators and the sports industrial complex at the expense of residents within the host city. If Olympic venues are re-framed to primarily serve the local community, then the scope of impact will be greater than the typical display of state and capitalist control. By inverting focus the Olympic venue becomes a beacon of socially equitable design practice that is sensitive to the local economy and ecology.

Olympic swimming pools are a typology born out of the Olympic games, and are thus inextricably linked to the international sports community and symbols of power, wealth and progress. Pools do more than provide high level training facilities for athletes and perfectly calibrated views for spectators near and far; they bring people together around the sacred resource by which they are defined, clean water. A meeting point between multiple perspectives, the pool frames simultaneous conversations between local and global forces, re-balancing the power structure so as to bridge the gap between community members and the Olympic scale.