In a week that saw UEFA finally confirm that the Euro 2012 final will take place in Kiev, Ukraine, it seems only fitting to look at the stadium under construction that will host it.
The Olympic National Stadium in Kiev has a long history, first opening in 1923 as “Red Stadium” (you can guess why), and then going through further name changes that reflected the political situation in Ukraine: Stalin Respublikanskiy Stadium (1941-1953), Khrushchev Respublikanskiy Stadium (1953-1966), Kiev Central Stadium (1963-1978), Respublikanskiy Stadium (1978-1996) and finally NSC Olimpiysky (1996-).
The first major stadium renovation was finished in 1941, but on the day of the opening ceremony, the Nazi luftwaffe bombed the stadium.
The latest reconstruction, an almost complete overhaul of the stadium’s structure and design, has been through some changes itself alread. This was the original winning bid’s design, by Taiwanese firm Archasia Design Group:
But in the summer of last year, slow progress led to Ukraine dropping Archasia from the project. Demolition, though, continued:
Confusion reigned for some months over the details of the design selected in place. Finally, official renderings came out of a more modest overhaul:
One year of construction has taken place, and the stadium currently looks like this: