Norway invented the sport of ski jumping, so it cannot have felt good when the International Ski Federation told them their Holmenkollen Ski Jump was too small to host the World Championships. The existing ski jump was subsequently demolished and a design competition held for a new one.
Danish architecture firm JDS (Julien De Smedt Architects) won the competition, and four years later, the redesigned Holmenkollen Ski Jump is open for business. And it is awesome:
The stainless steel structure is nearly 200 feet (58 meters) tall and the insane cantilever juts out some 226 feet (69 meters).
But beyond its striking shape, the design deserves praise for its centralized functionality:
Rather than having a series of dispersed pavilions on site, our design unifies the various amenities into one holistic diagram. The judges booths, the commentators, the trainers, the Royal family, the VIPs, the wind screens, the circulations, the lobby, the entrance to the arena and the arena itself, the lounge for the skiers, the souvenir shop, the access to the existing museum, the viewing public square at the very top, everything, is contained into the shape of the jump.
The resulting simplicity of the solution improves the experience of the spectators and brings clear focus to the skiers jumping...
Atop the ski jump is a platform where visitors can take in some of the most breathtaking views of Oslo, the fjord and the region beyond. It's a new form of public space, using an unlikely architectural form as its host, affording the same spectacular vantage point for everyone who comes to Holmenkollen.