08-08-2008 13:38

Special Report:   2008 Beijing Olympic Games

The Olympic Games will unfold at 31 venues. The question of where and how to create those venues is one of the core issues for staging a successful event. 
The Olympic Games will unfold at 31 venues. The question of
 where and how to create those venues is one of the core issues
 for staging a successful event.

Beyond that, when the games are complete, the venues must contribute to the city's future development. Olympic Park is in the north of Beijing, where many Games venues are located. Designing the area was important.

In early 2002, a sign on Beijing's North 4th ring road advised passing motorists of the future location for the Olympic Green.

Specifications for the project were set out early as the bidding competition began. The park was to have four functional areas -- the Olympic Green, the University area, the north scenic area, and the Western community area.

IOC's Coordination Commission member Wu Ching-Kuo said, "Experience in the past shows, that most Olympic host cities create a new Olympic Park. It helps to link all the venues together. There is a central location, convenient for visitors. "

The land was set aside when Beijing held the Asian Games in 1990. The area lies at the north end of central axis. And it's close to the venues that were used during the Asian Games.

On March 31, 2002, Beijing officially invited designers from all over the world to compete for the planning of the Olympic Park and Wukesong Cultural and Sports Center. Wukesong is in west Beijing -- annexed to the far end of Chang'an boulevard. A sports center had been promised here for almost half a century.

Wukesong Center is 20% larger than Tian'anmen Square. The Olympic park is about 30 TIMES more than the square. It's rare to find such a large, peaceful area in an historic city the size of Beijing. For designers -- that much available space seemed like an extravagance. And it gave them a great opportunity to exercise their talents.