The main stadium of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games has opened in South Korea, four months ahead of the start of the games.
The stadium was designed by architectural firm Populous in collaboration with local firm Heerim Architects and Planners. It features a sustainable design and has the capacity to accommodate 60,000 people.
Built on a 632,000m² area, the five-storey multi-purpose stadium has a total floor area of 113,620m².
The KRW490bn ($479m) stadium can be transformed into a People’s Park for the city of Incheon by reducing the seating to a single-sided grandstand for 30,000 people.
Populous senior principal Andrew James said that legacy and sustainability were the driving factors in designing the stadium in Incheon.
"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," James said.
According to James, adding temporary seats reduced the operations and maintenance costs of the building, while permanent seats were positioned for perfect view of the sport.
James said the plans were always based on a community park, which will replace the Eastern stand after the Games, forming a traditional stadium hill with plazas on the north and south ends. It will provide atmospheric spectator viewing during a match and a green space for the public to enjoy at all other times.
The stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field events of the 17th Asian Games, which will be held from 19 September to 4 October in Incheon, South Korea.
The Incheon Asian Games will be the third Asian Games to be held in South Korea, after Seoul in 1986 and Busan in 2002.
Image: A bird’s eye view of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games main stadium in Incheon, South Korea. Photo: courtesy of Populous.