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Construction complete on 2014 Incheon Asian Games Main Stadium

Incheon Asiad Main Stadium shown in legacy mode for athletics and soccer. Credit: Populous Legacy for athletics

Images: (top), shows the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium in Games mode, then (middle & bottom), shows the stadium in legacy-mode for athletics and soccer.


The celebration to mark the official end of construction on the main stadium for the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, which begins September 19, was held in Incheon, South Korea on May 7, 2014.
The stadium for the 17th Asian Games was designed by global architects Populous in association with local firm Heerim Architects and Planners, and illustrates a new level of sustainable design in stadia in Asia. (This project will be featured in the forthcoming Summer ’14 edition of PanStadia & Arena Management due out end of this month.)
The multipurpose stadium will hold 60,000 people during the Games and will then be reduced down to a single-sided grandstand for 30,000 in legacy-mode, as a People’s Park for the city of Incheon.
Legacy and sustainability are at the heart of the stadium’s design, as Populous’ Senior Principal, Andrew James, outlines:

We wanted to take a fresh look at the way we treat adaptable stadia in Incheon. Rather than considering how we could shrink a 60,000-seat stadium, we turned the idea on its head and thought let’s build a 30,000-seat stadium and add 30,000 temporary seats.

This approach provided multiple advantages. Financially, it reduced the building by two-thirds, meaning there are substantial savings in operational and maintenance costs. Secondly, it meant the permanent seats could be sited in the optimal position for these sports, in this instance, in the West stand.

But the biggest advantage in the design is the freedom it provided in terms of legacy. The plans were always based on a community park, which after the Games, will replace the Eastern stand, forming a traditional stadium hill, with plazas on the north and south ends, providing atmospheric spectator viewing during a match , and a green space for the public to enjoy at all other times.

If the social legacy is achieved in the way it was originally planned, I think the world will sit up and notice that Korea is leading the way in delivering a sports’ project with a real defined legacy.