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The Best of Olympic Architecture

By Josephine Minutillo - 2014-03-21T16:34:04Z

Photograph by Art Directors & TRIP/Alamy

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Olympic Stadium and Park, Seoul


Much as the 1964 Tokyo Olympics helped usher in a new postwar era for Japan, the 1988 Seoul Games—the second Games held in Asia—did the same for a newly industrialized South Korea. They featured big performances by Greg Louganis and Janet Evans, but also big controversy, as Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson became the first world-famous athlete to be disqualified for testing positive for steroids. The centerpiece of the Jamsil Sports Complex, the dynamically curved Seoul Olympic Stadium was designed by Japanese-trained architect Kim Swoo Geun to evoke the profile of a Joseon Dynasty porcelain vase.