IOC's 'Olympic House' fuels JOA's transformational spirit


IOC's 'Olympic House' fuels JOA's transformational spirit

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on June 23, Olympic Day, officially opened its new and modern headquarters named and styled 'Olympic House' in Lausanne, Switzerland, home of the Olympic Movement.

The event marked the 125th anniversary of the formation of the IOC in 1894.

An impressive landmark, the predominantly glass structure was designed by the Danish architecture firm 3XN, and reflects the four concepts of integration (an architectural blend with the surrounding natural landscape), peace (roof solar panels in the image of a dove), athletes (its shape depicts movement) and unity (a five-ring central staircase, which links the various floors).

Nestled in a public park and bird sanctuary, it is an environmental and historic fit and affirms Lausanne as the Olympic capital and establishes the city's umbilical connection with, undeniably, the greatest expression of human talent in sport — the Olympic Games.

Described as “a unique example of and a catalyst for innovative collaboration between many different stakeholders”, it is the product of co-operative efforts of IOC's commercial partners (Dow, Toyota and Panasonic), local authorities, suppliers, academics, as well as the IOC staff.

With the establishment of Olympic House the IOC will now be able to house its 500 employees under one roof at one site — a marked difference from the previous situation which saw the staff working from four locations in Lausanne.

President of the IOC, Thomas Bach, in referencing the celebrated song of John Lennon, Imagine, likened the process as a dream of which the IOC is “not the only one”, but that it was the result of the imagination and creativity of stakeholders, and a reflection of peace and unity.

Bach also stated that the building meets demanding sustainability standards both locally and internationally, with emphasis on energy conservation, water efficiency, waste reduction and landscape integration.

Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) President Christopher Samuda attended the opening and said that “the house, with its open space and transparent design and architectural embodiment of the values and ideals of Olympism, will become the Olympic home wherein man's humanity to man in sport will gain expression, and the business of sport conducted integratively”.

The JOA will itself undertake the construction of a new corporate, multi-faceted headquarters — 'Olympic Manor' — and Samuda hails this as “part of the transforming spirit and business re-engineering of the apex sporting body, in respect of which we made a commitment to our members”.

Secretary general and CEO, Ryan Foster will drive the process. He describes the making of the corporate Olympic Manor as “inevitable in the commercial journey of the JOA as we revolutionise sport governance and management, monetise our assets, create profit centres, and afford our member associations access to enabling facilities and a blueprint for operational viability”.

In a release, the IOC said that its Olympic House “reflects the overall change of mindset initiated by the Olympic Agenda 2020 — the IOC strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement — striving for more openness and transparency through a glass construction”.

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