Unusual sports facilities of the world

If you want, you can approach anything with imagination – even the construction of sports facilities. For example, to place a whole stadium in a rock, and a tennis court – on the roof of a skyscraper. And you can also break all records in terms of size and capacity. Or build a building that will take your breath away.

Bird’s Nest, Beijing National Stadium

When it fell to China to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, the organizers were faced with the question – where? The stadium for the Olympics had to be spacious, comfortable, recognizable and able to withstand an earthquake.

As a result, the Bird’s Nest was born – the most complex sports facility from an engineering point of view and the largest steel structure in the world. Speaking of materials, a special steel grade was developed for the construction of this stadium, as free as possible from third-party impurities.

The stadium is the height of a 20-story building, from every seat of which you can see everything that happens on the field, now it hosts championships in gymnastics, football, and athletics. And in winter it turns into an ice arena. In 2022, the Beijing National Stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Game Streetmekka Aalborg (street sports centre) in Denmark

Winter is not the best time for skateboarding and parkour, especially in Scandinavia. The practical Danes decided that this needed to be fixed and built a modern center for street sports on the territory of the former factory in Olberg.

During the construction, the materials of the former building were reused, and some parts were left intact. Old and new merged into a harmonious ensemble. The center has two wings, the facade is simple, but decorated with huge colored graffiti.

Here at any time of the year you can practice skateboarding, parkour, rock climbing, workout, rollerblading or playing team sports. In addition, the center has a dance hall, a recording studio and an outdoor kitchen.

Ski jump “Bergisel” in Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck is a ski mecca. Here, in 1925, a wooden ski jump was built on top of the Bergisel mountain. Five years later, it was rebuilt with stronger materials. At that time, this ski jump was the highest in Europe.

Now “Bergisel” is the hallmark and main attraction of Innsbruck, which can be seen from anywhere in the city. The building combines the functions of a training center and a competition ground. It has hosted World Ski Championships several times and lit the Olympic Flame three times – in 1964, 1976 and 2012.

The springboard is 120 meters long. Skiers are able to accelerate on it up to 92 km / h. Would you like to ride?

If you are not the biggest fan of extreme sports, there is a cafe at the top of the tower with a beautiful panoramic view of the city and its surroundings.

Ayla Golf Academy & Clubhouse, in Aqaba, Jordan

The club building blends seamlessly with the landscape and resembles a sand dune surrounded by green golf courses. Inside this “hill” hides a shop, spa, restaurant, fitness center and banquet hall.

When decorating the building, Jordanian motifs were abundantly used, including the patterned mashrabiya lattice. The interiors were designed by local designers and painted by Jordanian artists. For greater connection with nature, the building was erected by hand. It is planned to build a whole resort complex in a similar style.

Swimming sports complex on the water in Shanghai, China

The complex, resembling from afar a series of snow-white ship sails, was built in 2011 on the territory of a former industrial zone on the banks of the Huangpu River.

An artificial lake was dug around the building to continue the “water” theme. The complex has several indoor and outdoor pools, as well as a media center in the form of an 80-meter tower. There are administrative offices, a fitness center and conference rooms.

The complex is used not only for swimming and diving competitions. Concerts, boxing matches and volleyball competitions are held here, and in winter they arrange a skating rink. Thanks to removable seats, the complex can accommodate up to 18,000 spectators.

This sports complex hosted the 2011 World Aquatics Championship (it was built for it), the 2012 World Short Track Championships and the 2015 World Figure Skating Championships. The Chinese figure skating championships are also regularly held here.

Pedreira Municipal Stadium in Braga, Portugal

Translated from Portuguese, “Pedreira” means “quarry”. The name speaks – it was built in the rocks of Monte do Castro. The architects wanted to create a structure that is completely integrated into the Portuguese landscapes. They were inspired by Mesoamerican architecture, in particular – the cities of the ancient Incas.

The stadium is completely located in a niche carved into the rock, has only two stands and is designed for 30,000 spectators. Two matches of the 2004 FIFA World Cup were played on an unusual field, and now the local club Braga trains on it. Pedreira is one of the most expensive stadiums in Portugal: 83 million euros were allocated for its construction.

And 13 million are annually spent on maintenance and improvement. But it’s worth it – the place is very picturesque, attracting not only athletes, but also tourists. For the original design, the stadium received several prestigious architectural awards, including the International Architecture Awards.

Tennis court at Burj Al Arab, UAE

On the roofs are often placed sports grounds and even swimming pools. But the tennis court on the Burj Al Arab tower deserves special mention. If only because the height of the turret is 321 meters.

The site is not located at the very top of the building, but on a separate ledge. A strong net is stretched under the court, thanks to which a person cannot fall down, even if he climbs over the railing. But the balls on the heads of random passers-by sometimes fall.

In 2005, Roger Federer (former world No. 1) and Olympic champion Andre Agassi both stayed at the Burj Al Arab and played a couple of sets on his heavenly court.

When the site is not occupied by tennis players, it is used for landing helicopters.

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