Friday, June 1, 2012

Temporary architecture may be the way for mega events

Temporary architecture may be the way for mega events

Illustration by Wen Hwee, 2012

Imagine constructing mammoth buildings for an once-off mega event such as Olympics and World Cup. The cement, concrete, wood, metals, adhesives, transportation (air, land and sea), resources need. This could be a huge amount of resources expended and possibly wasted if the building is not fully utilise after the event is over.

Most mega events will attract millions of people to flock to the area/country. This creates stress in accomodation and transportation for the weeks/ month that the event is held. One way to meet such challenges is to build the infrastructures needed. But again, this brings up the question of whether such a move is sustainable in the long run. Oh well, one could argue that this would create jobs for that period and improve the economy.
Are there other ways that could be adopted to meet the demands of the events and also be more environmentally friendly?

Saw reports about "temporary architectures". Temporary architectures are buildings and units that are not permanent in nature. They could include temporary arenas, hotels etc.

What I could think of as benefits of such structures include:
1.) Meet Temporary Needs of the Events
The architecture could meet the demands of the event that would usually peak during the events but decline after the event. Jobs and projects are still created to construct such temporary buildings.
2.) Environmentally Friendliness
It might be more environmentally friendly if such architectures could be designed to use minimal resources. Once the event is over and demand declines, there is no need for such architectures. If the architecture is temporary, then there is no need to waste resources maintaining a building that is no needed.
Better still, if all the resources of the temporary architectures could be transported to another event for use to construct other temporary architectures.
3.) Returning space to the city.
Space in the city is occupied by the temporary architecture only for the duration when it is needed. Citites are getting increasingly crowded (especially Asian cities) and space is usually considered a 'luxury' in cities. By returning the land to the city council after the event is over, it could be go back to the city planning and meet future needs.

I'm not an architect by training. Do share your thoughts and comments on the topic.

link to a report on London Olympics Temporary Basketball Arena. 

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