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NYC 2012 Olympic Village

  • New York, USA
  • NYC 2012
  • Competition / Research
  • 330000ft2

The vision of a rapidly changing yet sustainable future along the East River: a constellation of towers dramatically presents an Olympic icon to Queens, Brooklyn and across to Manhattan. Built on open, textured ground, the towers carry the legacy of the Olympic energy towards a new urban experience.

Our Olympic Village masterplan boldly opens Hunters Point on the East River to change and seeds the development of a new economic, environmentally responsible life.

With the tower footprints minimised, the ground offers an open, undulating plane extending between the East River and Newtown Creek, creating spectacular views towards Midtown and Lower Manhattan.

This ground is lifted to absorb parking below, then shaped to define the setting for changing patterns of collective life above. It is cut away and pulled back around the towers, bringing light and orientation to the parking levels, defining the building’s entrance, and creating pockets of retail and leisure.

Together, the towers and the textured ground establish a strong formal presence, where the verticality of the towers and horizontality of the river and groundforms become accentuated. The simplicity of the plan provides maximum flexibility for it to evolve through the design process, with the street and interior axes becoming progressively defined through the layering and cutting of the ground, lighting strategies and the integration of art.

This striking landscape opens itself to many kinds of movement and highlights the cross-over of art and recreation in tomorrow’s lifestyles, offering the public, Olympic athletes and future residents a visual richness and experiential quality rarely equalled.

The eastern shore of the East River is increasingly demonstrating its potential as an infrastructural band supporting popular sports and leisure activities. This plan responds strongly to that trend, drawing it close around the future residents who will lend critical mass to the small shops and services that recreational living supports.

This is a masterplan for a sustainable future along Newtown Creek and in Long Island City – a powerful sculptural presence and an instrument through which a new, exciting pattern of living can be defined, offering a rigorous framework without the spatial rigidity of the traditional grid.


Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher


Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Architect

Tiago Correira

Project Team

Ana Cajiao, Daniel Baerlecken, Judith Reitz, Simon Kim, Dillon Lin, Yosuke, Hayano, Ergian Alberg, Yael Brosilovski, Daniel Li, Yang Jing Wen, Li Zou, Laura Aquili, Jens Borstelmann, Juan Aranguren

Project Management

Markus Dochantschi (StudioMDA, NY)

Urban Strategy

Larry Barth

Landscape Architecture

Grossmax - Eelco Hooftmann

Lighting Design

L’Observatoire International - Herve Descottes


Structure: ARUP - Bob Lang
Infrastructure: ARUP - Ian Carradice
Transportation: ARUP - David Johnston
Building Services: ARUP - Andrew Sedgwick
Building Services: ARUP Elevators - Mike Summers, Warrick Gorrie
Building Services: ARUP Mechanical - Emmanuelle Danisi
Fire: ARUP FIRE - Barbara Lane, Tony Lovell
Security: ARUP SECURITY - John Haddon, Simon Brimble
Facade: ARUP FACADE - Edith Mueller
Materials: ARUP MATERIALS CONSULTING - Clare Perkins

Construction Cost Planning and Management

David Langdon Adamson, Nick Butcher, Ethan T. Burrows

Video Animation and 3D Visuals



David Grandorge