Paris Olympics

Discover the special Domus for the Paris 2024 Olympics

All the exhibitions dedicated to the Olympics you can view in Paris

As the city prepares for the sporting competitions, the Olympic Games are taking over the museums. An opportunity to engage with both geopolitical issues and topics related to architecture and design.

Much has been said about "Match," the exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris dedicated to the link between design and sport, as well as its unique curation by Konstantin Grcic, who exceeded expectations with his ability to narrate sports innovation both in its social and performance facets and through the dizzying impact of artificial intelligence. However, the cultural offerings of the French capital dedicated to the upcoming Olympic Games are much broader, extending to other museum institutions generally associated with the fields of art and architecture.

Jeu Ville Radieuse, 1939. Exhibition at the Cité de l'Architecture © Paris, Fondation Le Corbusier

The Palais de la Porte Dorée, an old institution originally created to celebrate the grandeur of French colonial power and now converted into the Museum of Immigration, presents "Olympisme, une histoire de monde" (Olympism, a World History). This fascinating retrospective explores the history of the games and their various editions. Visiting the exhibition is a valuable opportunity to reconstruct all the key points of the Olympic format, which has changed significantly over just over a century, transforming from an elitist gathering for white males to a globalized event open to diversity. The exhibition also discusses geopolitical turning points and related hegemonic tensions, and how these are reflected in the choreography of the opening ceremonies, uniforms, and graphics. From Berlin, Munich, Moscow, and Seoul, the 20th-century history unfolds progressively to today's issues: the high costs, environmental impact, and mass public participation are still acceptable, or should the format be reconsidered?

Alla Cité de l’Architecture, dall’altro capo della città, è invece l’architettura degli stadi ad essere messa sotto le lenti di ingrandimento. Il était une fois les stades racconta la trasformazione di questi edifici dal modello dello stadion greco, uno spazio vuoto dotato di tribuna, fino al complesso dispositivo contemporaneo capace di orchestrare competizione, divertimento di massa, dispositivi di sicurezza e necessità mediatiche. In Francia, l’allargamento della pratica sportiva iniziato negli anni ’20 favorisce la proliferazione di stadi in tutto il Paese. L’occasione è propizia per una grande effervescenza architettonica che sperimenterà soluzioni strutturali aerodinamiche, nuove coperture, insieme a nuove occasioni di comfort. Tornando agli imminenti giochi di Parigi 2024, l’altra mostra della Cité de l’Architecture, Quand la ville se prend aux jeux, presenta i risultati della nona edizione del concorso Mini Maousse dedicato alla progettazione di architetture effimere, tra convivialità ed esercizio fisico, destinate alla fruizione sportiva dei giochi olimpici. Pensati come un’opportunità inclusiva per avvicinare chi non assisterà alle gare né avrà accesso alle fan zones di Parigi, i quattro progetti selezionati saranno installati nei comuni più periferici dell’Île-de-France.

Javelin throw at the 1904 Anthropological Games, unknown Filipino competitor © St Louis Public Library

At the Cité de l’Architecture, on the other side of the city, the architecture of stadiums is under scrutiny. "Il était une fois les stades" (Once Upon a Time in the Stadiums) recounts the transformation of these buildings from the Greek stadion model, a simple empty space with stands, to the contemporary complex capable of orchestrating competition, mass entertainment, security devices, and media coverage. In France, the expansion of sports practice that began in the 1920s led to the proliferation of stadiums across the country. This period was ripe for significant architectural experimentation with aerodynamic structural solutions, new coverings, and new opportunities for comfort. Looking ahead to the upcoming Paris 2024 Games, another exhibition at the Cité de l’Architecture, "Quand la ville se prend aux jeux" (When the City Gets into the Games), presents the results of the ninth edition of the Mini Maousse competition dedicated to designing ephemeral architectures, between conviviality and physical exercise, intended for enlarging the participation to the Olympic Games. Designed as an inclusive opportunity to bring those who will not attend the events or access the fan zones in Paris closer, the four selected projects will be installed in the most peripheral municipalities of Île-de-France.

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