High-tech makeover for Sochi
In the small village of Krasnaya Polyana in the heart of the so-called mountain cluster of Russia's 2014 Winter Olympics, preparations are underway.
The architects have come up with a detailed plan for most venues. The organizers want the new buildings to preserve the local style of architecture.
“Historical research has shown that Soviet classicism in architecture is what reminds people of Sochi and its landmarks. It is certainly something that is in people's souls,” Olimpstroy Corporation’s chief architect Oleg Kharchenko says.
For modern architects there is plenty to be admired and enjoyed.
Sochi's marine station is a distinctive landmark, and symbolizes the golden age of the city's architecture. With its 71-meter-tall tower, it is one of the favorite sightseeing spots for locals and tourists alike.
Another key location is the central train station, just a short walk from the city center. Built in 1952, it is considered to be the pride of Sochi.
Several buildings erected in the mid-50s in Sochi are now considered masterpieces. Their style will be used in some of the Olympic venues, including luxury hotels and apartment buildings in Krasnaya Polyana.
“It will be the size of a small city, with 3000 hotel rooms and apartments. This whole complex has already been laid out and it, indeed, reminds me a lot of the neoclassical Mediterranean style,” Kharchenko says.
While the new venues in the mountains have yet to be built, in the coastal area some 50 kilometers away you can see construction is already in progress. The coastal Olympic park includes a large stadium, skating tracks and ice rinks.
A high-speed train will allow visitors to commute between the two areas in just a few minutes.
With less than four years left until the big event, the organizers are hoping to make the 2014 Winter Games an unforgettable experience. For the thousands of sports fans who will arrive, there will be plenty of surprises in store. The new blend of architecture is just one of them.