September 25, 2009
With a couple hours to kill yesterday before leaving Munich for Paris, I decided to jump on the UBahn and head out to Olympiapark and wander around. Apparently, Olympiapark was never meant to be the real name, but it has come to be called that due to that designation as the metro stop. It was more impressive than I expected. More than anything, I loved how much of the original stadium and environment from the 72 Olympics had been preserved, from the seats to the signage that clearly remains from then. It's difficult to find much trace of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, so that was a pleasant surprise. Olympiapark is in an area of Munich called Oberwiesenfeld, which had been almost a wasteland since 1939. Until then, it had been used as an airfield, and later stored hills of rubble from WWII bombing debris. Munich made a conscious effort to make a "green Olympic Games" and converted the area to green space with architecture that looked positively to the future. They succeeded. The "tensile" sturctures that cover much of the park, not only the stadium, were designed by Frei Otto. And while there is a decidedly retro feel to it in some ways now, it still feels positively forward looking.
Posted by Jon Berry at 6:59 AM