An architect has developed a floating set of Olympic facilities that can be reusable and easily transported to new coastal locations.
When Olympics are over, the stadium and sports facilities remain. Some get repurposed, but others become painful reminders of enormous investments.
"Nearly 90 percent of the world's nations can't afford to build for major sporting events - not just the Olympics," said Michael Burt, professor emeritus of architecture at Technion Israel Institute of Technology.
Inspired by artificial structures for marine environments, Burt developed a conceptual array of Olympic facilities, including a stadium that could be transported along waterways and moored in major port cities, reports Discovery News.
The design calls for a stadium that can hold 150,000 spectators, as well as "modules" that would contain auxiliary sporting facilities, housing accommodations, administrative and offices.
The separate modules would be towed in as needed. Once in place, the facilities would form a sturdy archipelago accessible by footbridges.
Spectators and athletes could enter from a fixed pier, a pontoon bridge, a ferry, or some combination.
The buildings would have an infinite polyhedral lattice form based on a structural surface that Burt and two others originally patented in the 1980s.
The lattices are multi-layered, low density bar-and-joint trusses made from steel and connectors. According to Burt, a 650-square-foot span could be made from less than 90 pounds of steel, and covered with a lightweight material. The total cost of a single floating facility would hinge on the amount of materials used, he said.
Burt compares the Olympics to a wedding, arguing that it doesn't make sense to build a new reception hall for a one-time event. Instead, he said of the array, "Such a complex could be reused many times a year."
The architect thinks there could be multiple Olympic arrays, including one that primarily serves Europe.
In late March 2011, Burt presented the concept at the Technology, Knowledge and Society conference in Bilbao, Spain.