The Winter Olympic Games have been presented at President Putin’s showy statement of Russia’s regained power on the world stage. So it might come as a surprise to know that the designers behind it are American.
Populous, formerly known as HOK, designed Camden Yards, London’s 2012 Olympic stadium, the new Yankee Stadium and numerous other sports and convention centers — and the massive events that go in them. In the Southland they’ve built the Honda Center, the Angel Stadium and are now working on the expansion of the LA Convention Center.
Ten years ago, Sochi officials brought in Populous to help with their bid for the Olympics. Sochi won and so did Populous; they wound up planning the Olympic Park, the infrastructure, and designed the Fisht Olympic Stadium.
Jerry Anderson is Senior Principal at Populous. He talks to DnA about what it was like to work with the country that has had a tricky relationship with the US. Anderson says that once they had overcome linguistic and cultural hurdles, his firm and their Russian partners became lifelong friends, lubricated with plenty of vodka – but not without yielding design credit to Russia’s need to “own” the Olympic buildings.