Archive for September, 2009

Another phenomenal Olympic Stadium Project for Sochi

Development, Olympics 2014 September 30th, 2009

Main Stadium

The global design practice Populous is delighted to announce today that it has been selected by the State Corporation ‘Olympstroy’ to design the main stadium for the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Populous has also designed the master plan and overlay plan for competition and non-competition venues and facilities, and now adds designing the main 40,000 seat stadium to their expanding role on the 2014 Games. Populous is joined in the design consortium by Russian contractor Engeocom, and Botta Management.

“The main stadium design, in addition to the venue overlay plan we have prepared for the 2014 Games, delivers a wonderful vision for the winter Olympics, and a lasting sustainable legacy for Sochi. Its sweeping form responds to both its coastal location and mountainous backdrop, whilst its crystalline skin engages with its surroundings by day, and provides an iconic representation of the colour and spectacle of the games when illuminated at night. We are proud to be involved on such a level with Olympstroy,” said John Barrow, Populous senior principal.

This is the 25th year of Populous’ involvement in Olympic and Paralympic Games, and we are now the first design practice to have been officially appointed for the design of two Olympic Stadiums at one time. With Populous being the architects responsible for the main Stadium and venues overlay for the London 2012 Games, designing for Sochi 2014 ensures the continuation of the practice’s unrivalled experience in Olympic event planning and venue design. Each of these stadiums reflects new standards for Olympic sustainability initiatives.


Central Olympic stadium project

Development, Olympics 2014 September 29th, 2009

A project of the central Olympic stadium – stadium where opening and closing ceremonies will take place, as well as many medal ceremonies – has been finally selected few days ago. The winner of the tender is a group of companies which includes «Mosproject-4», Russia (architecture design), Populous, USA (architecture design), Botta Management Group, Switzerland (construction management), «ENGEOCOM Association» CJSC, Russia (construction).

The stadium must be completed by the end of first quarter of year 2013. After the Olympics it will be used to host football games and comply with all FIFA regulations.

Below are a few renderings from which list «Mosproject-4» as a client, so, I guess, we’re looking at what future stadium will look like.

More renderings: Read the rest of this entry »

Sochi 2014 team launches official blog

Olympics 2014 September 25th, 2009

Organizing committee of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi has launched official team blog at … but it’s only in Russian, at least for now.

Looking at the dates it appears they’ve been giving it a thought since May, but revived the idea only now, in September. The announcement was posted yesterday.

The posting is for the officials only – there already are a few posts about marketing, environments, finance, etc. But you can comment, and the best thing is they do reply! You have to register, though, or use one of your existing OpenID accounts (if you’re registered at Google, Facebook, Yahoo (must enable first, though) – you have one).

I’m glad they finally did this, and hope they don’t run out of steam blogging and responding when more people start visiting.

Official Sochi2014 Team blog:

Oh, and it runs on WordPress too! :-)

What happened to the High-Speed train to Sochi plans

Other stories September 23rd, 2009

After a recent comment to a year old post about plans of a high-speed train from Moscow to Sochi, I decided to collect bits and pieces of what I know on a subject into a post.


  • Russian Railways already sign a contract to buy 8 highspeed trains (“Sapsan” / Velaro RUS platform) from Siemens. They are to be used to connect Moscow with Sant-Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod, and possibly Sochi.
  • First commercial use of this train is schedilered for December 18th this year, between St.-Pete and Moscow.
  • The trains will use existing tracks, but the infrastructure will have to be modernized, and schedulers re-worked. This work for Msk-SPb trains is completed.
  • 10 carts, carrying around 600 passengers
  • Technical possibility of 250-330 km/hr, but for now will operate ~200 km/h, and even slower close to the cities.
  • Planned 3 hrs 30 min – 3 hrs 45 min one way ride to SPb, 4 hrs to N. Novgorod, 17 hrs to Sochi
  • Ticket price is still unknown at this point, even for Msk-SPb rides. But they’ll have to compete with 1500-2000 rub regular train tickets, and ~2000+ rub airplane tickets.

What are Sochi’s chances

According to an article on, it sound like a solid plans.

  • September 22, 2009 – just yesterday – Russian Railways presented “Sapsan” in Rostov. Why in Rostov? Probably because it’s largest city on Russia’s south, and maybe train will make a stop there(?)
  • The test rides in Russia’s south will begin on September 24 – thats tomorrow – on RZDs’ testing track Belorechenskaya – Maykop. And Moscow – Sochi high speed train should start running after the tests are completed.

“Sapsan” train. Photo source ru_railway

You can find more photos of this train, exterior and interior, here:

First solar panel powered gas station in Sochi

Development, Sochi News September 17th, 2009

Today Lukoil opened solar powered gas station in Krasnaya Polyana. This is certainly first one in Sochi, and according to Lukoil’s press release (rus) it is the first gas station in Russia to use such system developed domestically. The solar generated energy will mostly be used for internal and external lighting, and as an emergency backup system to ensure station running without interruption.

Solar powered gas station in Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi. photo (c) Lukoil

Design best Sochi 2014 credit card and go see Vancouver Olympics!

Olympics 2014, Other stories September 14th, 2009

Russia’s Sberbank, which was earlier selected as an official partner of Olympics in Sochi, is holding public competition for the best Sochi 2014 credit card design. The main prize: a trip to Vancouver in February 2010

The official website for the competition is

Unfortunately for most of the visitors of this blog the competition is open to Russian citizens only. If you are eligible you can read rules of participation (in Russian) here. But, luckily for those who have any skills, you’ve got a pretty good chance, ’cause most of the designs submeted by now look more like kindergarten drawings.

Here are a few of the ones I personally liked. You can see them all in the official gallery.

Do you like any of those designs?

No plans to specifically involve foreign construction workers

Development, Olympics 2014 September 5th, 2009

75 000 construction workers will be working on Olympic projects in 2010-2011 — this is the estimate from Dmitry Kozak, Vice Prime-Minister of Russia responsible for overseeing Olympics preparations. RIA Novosti also quotes him saying that there are no plans to specifically involve migrant workers, all work places should be filled via competitive transparent tenders.

According to him there are only 299 foreign workers are currently working on Olympic construction projects out of around 11 000 people working there today.

Over 4 000 exotic fish die at Sochi’s customs

Other stories, Sochi News September 2nd, 2009

Over 4,000 exotic tropical fish died at an airport in Sochi after being kept in customs for hours in the summer heat. “The 18-ton cargo, containing over 4,000 exotic fish from China, was standing at customs at Sochi Airport for more than 14 hours in quite hot weather”… customs deny it was their fault, and claim owners did not submit proper paperwork.

The fish was intended for the brand new Sоchi Discovery World – world class, 6 700 sq. meters, $25 mln oceanarium which was scheduled to open during the 8th International Investment Forum Sochi-2009 (starts on September 17). Hm, around $480,000 in investments into Sochi lost while trying to “decorate” investment forum in Sochi… quite symbolic, I think.

Well, according to the head of the oceanarium they are going to try to open as scheduled…

You can read the full story at Russia Today: Thousands of exotic fish boiled alive in Sochi airport