Videos

Pitch renovations at the Bet365 Stadium

bet365_stadium

Grounds manager Andrew Jackson explains the detailed process involved in preparing the turf at the home ground of English soccer side Stoke City FC before the start of the 2018-19 season.

Click image to view video

Inside the Kinnick Stadium renovation

kinnick renovation stadium video

The US$89m renovation at the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium is taking shape. See the progress being made at the north end zone in this behind-the-build video.

Click image to view video

Betty Engelstad Sioux Center Floor Redesign Timelapse

la_coliseum_update

This time-lapse video shows the detailed process of redesigning the wood floor at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center at the University of North Dakota, home to its basketball and volleyball teams.

Click image to view video

Affectionately known as 'Smurf Turf' at what stadium will you find the world's only blue AstroTurf playing surface? 


Join our
LinkedIn Group


Web Exclusives

« back to listing

One-on-one: John Pauline, Principal, Hassell

A veteran of six Olympic Games, John Pauline speaks to Stadia about ensuring post-Games success, and offers his verdict on the Rio facilities

 

You’ve been involved in six consecutive Olympics. Can you tell us a little about your roles?
I’ve worked predominantly on the summer Games, essentially on each Olympics since Sydney – with the exception of Tokyo, I haven’t had much of a role there, but I have had a role in every other summer Olympics, and I did also work with Istanbul on the summer Olympics 2020 pitch for that city.


I started working on the Sydney Olympic masterplan and baseball stadium in Homebush, around about 1993. I worked on the Sydney Olympics for seven years, although I was relatively junior at that time in my career. After that, my work on Athens was a different type of work – it was operational and I worked within the organizing committee and advised on how to run the Olympic Games competition venues. I did the same thing in Beijing, but I also worked on, and was one of the designers of, the Water Cube project, the aquatic project in Beijing. So I lived in the city for four years to deliver the project. In London I was also a design architect working on the handball venue, the Copper Box, working along with a UK practice, Make Architects. That was a joint venture.

 

Image: Make Architects

 

Have you seen changes in the way that Olympic venues and precincts are designed?
I have, but it’s a very mixed story. I’ve seen mistakes being repeated often, which is frustrating. But I think the main cause of that is every big city that wins the bid to become an Olympic city relies on a high percentage of people to work on the project who haven’t done so before. By definition, they’re coming at it from a position of not being well informed, so you get a lot of mistakes being made over and over again. I suppose there’s not enough experts brought in to help try and accelerate people on these programs. There should be more of that.

Has the expectation of what an Olympic venue should be and do – during the Games and afterwards – also shifted?
Yes, but again it’s a mixed story. London, I think is a high watermark in terms of what I’d call a pretty responsible approach to delivering an Olympic Games and having a strong sense of legacy, in comparison with other cities. I’ve just returned from Greece, and I went to the Olympic venues. It’s just a tragedy what’s happened to those venues. And my gut feeling is that Rio is repeating the mistakes that were made in Athens, in terms of not enough forward planning, especially in the Barra district. It’s got such strong parallels to what happened in Athens that I can’t help but feel mistakes are being repeated again. London was a high point, but I feel that Rio, unfortunately, has gone backward.

Is the largest mistake to design a single-use venue with no thought to what happens after the Games?
Absolutely. The old white elephant syndrome is the biggest mistake you can make. And of course, having no flexibility within the venue is just tragic. There are too many venues designed as one-offs, that have a single purpose. Because of that, you just don’t find operators that can use them successfully years after the event. The best possible venues – and I realize I’m talking about one of my venues here – are those such as the Copper Box in London, which was done on a very low budget, in fact I believe it was the lowest budget of the permanent buildings in the London Olympic Park. There was an enormous effort to make that the most legacy-driven building possible. And I’m just not seeing that in a number of other venues.

 

Image: Make Architects 

Could these kinds of mistakes be contributing to a growing apathy toward hosting the Olympics?
I think so. I find it a huge frustration. The Olympics, in my opinion, can still be an unbelievably good thing for a city. Because of the amount of money spent on these games, you’d think that, along with these budgets would come fantastic innovation. You’d think that there would be fantastic jumps every four years, in terms of amazing innovation and operational things that could be done to run the Games more successfully and efficiently. But unfortunately, it just seems like we see a stagnation every four years. I think the public, because they hear the same problems every four years, do get tired of it. There’s a real moral problem with the Olympics, which has to be solved quickly.

Why do you think these mistakes keep getting repeated?
I think that it depends on the country. Every country and culture is different, and I don’t want to generalize in any way, but I think that there’s a sophistication and a level of development that can vary in different countries. There can be a very low-tech solution to delivering the Olympics, which is probably how I would categorize Athens and Rio. I think London’s solution was much more legacy driven and much more answerable to the people, which produces a certain result. Beijing was a very single-handed project – the government answered to themselves, but to the city’s credit, Beijing has the population to keep almost all of the venues that they built well looked after. I think beach volleyball and the rowing venues are the only two that have significantly suffered after the Games.

If somebody hired you to advise on a city’s bid, what are the core principles that you would stress to them?
Every single decision must be legacy driven and legacy focused. All of the decisions you are making are about the legacy, and not about the Olympics – you plan for the legacy first and then you work backwards to make it work for the Olympic Games. That is key.


Temporary structures, there’s no doubt, are better than permanent buildings, especially if the city does not need a venue of that size as part of its legacy. There are far too many permanent buildings built within the Olympic world, and I think that there’d be an encouragement for the higher cost of temporary buildings to be swallowed by the host cities – they should focus on the cost benefits they’ll get over the next 30 years. They are definitely expensive projects as one-offs, but of course they can be relocated, and then you don’t incur those costs in the future.
These things aren’t new, and have been said many times before, but I’d be banging the drum very loudly on these points.


The other thing that I would be strongly recommending would be to work in much closer partnership with the current host cities. When you get awarded the Games, there’s already an Olympics that is still being prepared, and which still has three years to go. There’s an enormous amount of waste, and not enough efficiency gained – or even temporary venues relocated between cities. That should be investigated.

 

Image: John Pauline

 

This sounds like the often-discussed idea of generic Olympic infrastructure that moves between cities. Do you see that as an option?
Completely. There’s too much pride in host cities, where they try to do everything uniquely, and with their own signature. As long as that pride can be lowered a little – you can still have your amazing signature venues, but just don’t build so many of them.

Are there elements of the Rio infrastructure that have taken heed of some of the factors you mention, albeit not enough?
Yes. There’s no doubt that there was strong talk during the planning for Rio of temporary venues and relocations. The key thing with this is follow-through. If a city hosts the Games, and the enthusiasm and the budget doesn’t follow, then all of those plans fall through. I’m a bit worried, for example, if they don’t relocate the venues, if they don’t have a secondary masterplan for Barra where they regenerate it into something new, something legacy driven, efficient and long term, then the area will fall into neglect. It’s really up to the cities to follow these things through. That’s why I’m a little concerned about Rio.

 

Image: Hassell

Hassell was responsible for the design of over 40 Olympic venues and related infrastructure for Istanbul’s 2020 Olympic bid

 

Could we see a model of Olympic infrastructure that moves from city to city within our lifetimes?
Absolutely. There are so many advancements in technology and materials. With each of these four-year jumps there should be a very strong, exponential increase in what is achievable. It’s all about getting the best minds and the best ideas in play to provide these things. And those ideas need to come from around the globe, not just from the host cities themselves. I get frustrated because I just don’t see that innovation in the Games, not to the level that you should see, given the budgets that they’re spending in these cities.

 

RECEIVE THE
LATEST NEWS


Your email address:



Read Latest Issue

Web Exclusives

One-on-one: Ron Moors, Schmitz Foam quality and development manager

Ron Moors, quality and development manager at Schmitz Foam, talks to Stadia about the developments in synthetic turf and whether it could completely replace natural grass pitches in the future.  
Click here to read more



World Cup 2018 stadium guide: The facts and stats of every host venue

The FIFA 2018 World Cup will see 64 games played at 12 venues, new and old, across Russia during the tournament. Here’s a list of every stadium and the story behind them.
Click here to read more



CR Laurence makes Banc of California Stadium see-through

The recently opened Banc of California in Los Angeles needed glass that is safe and fit for purpose to achieve its contemporary look. Here’s a look at what it took to make that happen.
Click here to read more



Gloucester Rugby to digitize the fan experience at Kingsholm Stadium

Gloucester Rugby club is drop-kicking its Kingsholm Stadium into the modern era by installing a state-of-the-art digital infrastructure to create a fully connected stadium that aims to digitize the fan experience with a new generation of digital services.  
Click here to read more



Harman lights up Jyske Bank Boxen Arena

Audio and lighting solutions can transform a venue with a simple flick of a switch, which is something visitors to the Jyske Bank Boxen Arena in Denmark will now be able to experience as a result of a dynamic installation.  
Click here to read more




Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the stadia community? We'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to matt.ross@ukimediaevents.com

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email john.doherty@ukimediaevents.com

Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightWe are building a list of leading suppliers covering all aspects of the stadia industry. Want to see your company included? Contact john.doherty@ukimediaevents.com for more details.