Henning Larsen reveals maritime-inspired pavilion for Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Danish firm Henning Larsen Architects has unveiled designs for a beach-side pavilion in Rio de Janeiro, which will host sporting, music and culinary events during this year's Olympic Games.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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The Heart of Denmark Pavilion by the Copenhagen-based architects will be set on Ipanema Beach, which borders one of the Brazilian city's most affluent neighbourhoods, and will be open throughout August.


The space will host a bar, press room and an exhibition on sustainable cities, as well as an amphitheatre where visitors can take in views of the Atlantic Ocean or watch Olympics fixtures on a big screen. The city's iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain will also be visible in the background.

The 300-square-metre structure is conceived as a tent and will be divided into four sections connected by a cross-shaped piece of clear acrylic.


The aluminium structure will be produced by John Mast – a Danish producer of sailboat masts – and covered in white sail cloth manufactured by OneSails.

Its form is intended to reference the city's mountainous landscape, as well as the work of late Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.


"The pavilion's simple and light expression is a reference to Nordic architecture and to Denmark's maritime and sailing history," said a statement from the firm.

"The triangular shells of the pavilion also pays tribute to Rio de Janeiro's hilly landscape and are inspired by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer's iconic style."


At night, LEDs will illuminate the pavilion in the colours of the Danish or Brazilian flag. But the lighting design will also be customisable to the Olympic colours displays for special events.

The project will be run by the Danish tourist board VisitDenmark and the Ministry of Business and Growth, alongside The Danish Industry Foundation, Nordea Foundation, Realdania and Grundfos.

Henning Larsen Architects, which was established in 1959, is responsible for buildings including the Harpa Concert and Conference Centre in Reykjavík, the Copenhagen Opera and the Moesgaard Museum. Founder Henning Larsen passed away in 2012, but the firm continues to operate under his name.

Visuals are by Aleksander Nowak and Omar Dabaan.

Project credits:

Architects: Henning Larsen ArchitectsTeam: Søren Øllgaard (Partner Responsible), Emil Skibsted Tranæs, Jakob Birk Nielsen, Jens Larsen, Mads Vinding Johnsen, Thomas Persson Vestersøe and Vanda OliveiraCollaborators: Alectia, John Mast, OneSails, Martin Professional


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