Olympic ice arena will mirror the trajectory of a figure skater’s triple toe loop

Admit it, standing behind the falling curtain of the Olympic Games in Vancouver on the large hockey arena of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Park, on its ground floor – was symbolic.

The spectacular views, the sounds of construction, and the stories told by engineers, who are acting as guides – all of this paints a picture that simply takes the breath away!

So, let us begin our futuristic excursion. Although, I am not sure as to what prevails in our journey – fantasy or reality; because the construction of the facilities is happening very rapidly.

Let us get familiar with our surroundings. We are standing at the Imeretinsky Lowland, near Adler. It is a so-called coastal cluster where the Olympic Park will be located, which will unite a significant part of the sports facilities.

This has never before happened in the history of the Winter Olympics – all ice stadiums will be in walking distance of one another.

Without more ado, I will explain that the remaining facilities will be located in the second cluster, in the mountains, and will be 48 kilometers away, in Krasnaya Polyana. Planners have already calculated that it will take 12 minutes to get there by train from the Adler airport, and 24 minutes by car. That is true, although, only if one is traveling at the maximum speed. But, either way, one should expect to travel for no more than 35 minutes. And the new airport is practically fully operational.

Six facilities will be erected in the Imeretinsky Lowland. Staff members of the state-owned corporation, Olympstroy, told about these buildings, especially about one of the biggest of them – a large ice skating arena. It will have two hockey arenas: one main and one training arena. They differ by the fact that the practice field will not have any stands. Meanwhile, the concrete casting of stands in the main arena has already begun. Preparations have been underway since May 2009, and construction began in August. And, some big results have already been achieved.

The architectural concept in the Imeretinskaya Valley assumes the introduction of a so-called “river-sea” scheme. Roads will be paved at the railway and for automobile passenger unloading zones. These will not be straight tracks, but intertwined lines resembling footpaths, but will be rather comfortable. They will symbolize mountain streams and rivers that later merge into the sea, located in the middle of the Olympic Park. Meanwhile, a ferris wheel, made of transparent material, will be installed in this artificial reservoir. Glass capsules/cabins with people will rise from the water to a height of 250 meters – and lower back into the water.

On the left of the grand hockey arena will be the stadium for curling, not far from which – an indoor skating center. The next facility is the sports palace for figure skating and short-track competitions. The foundation is ready. This will be an interesting building. The smooth curving lines of the palace’s facade mirror the trajectory of a figure skater’s triple toe loop.

The opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Sochi Olympics will be held at the central stadium, with a capacity of 40,000 spectators. And finally, the sixth facility – a small ice hockey arena. After the Olympics, some of the construction will be disassembled and transferred to other regions of Russia.

Laborers are working on the Olympic Park facilities around the clock, in three shifts. Attention was drawn to some unique antennas with balls – they are a source of diffused lighting, allowing the laborers to work throughout the night. It is noteworthy that fixtures, during the construction of the basement and the ground floor of the large ice arena, were boiled and, so as not to violate the structure of the metal, connected manually. The facility is designed to withstand a very high seismic threshold. Specialists explained that while in the regions, buildings are constructed taking into account a 7. 5 – 8 earthquake point shock, in the Olympic Park, it is 8 -8.5 points. It can withstand any earthquake – even the “2012 Apocalypse”, about which there is some idle talk.

Often times, people doubt if it is such a good idea that all construction work for the Sochi Olympics is practically being done from scratch. “In depends on the concrete country,” say designers and builders who provide a somewhat evasive response. If in Europe, it is considered an advantage when 20% of the work remains to be done, and Russia, in this sense, stands as an innovator. This is all, of course, insanely expensive. But, as they say, Sochi will be unlike anyone else.

Special thanks for RG agency for additional information

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