4. Olympic Village in Long Island City

Morphosis Architects, Olympic Village, 2004. Computer rendering, Courtesy Morphosis Architects

In 2004, NYC2012, a non-profit organization, was established to muster support for New York City’s bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. New York City was on a short list of cities and corresponding architects in competition to be the host, along with others like Copenhagen and London, the eventual winner. The architects were challenged to create an Olympic Village to accommodate 1,600 athletes which could be subsequently turned into middle-income housing.

The design by principal architect Thom Mayne resisted the more typical rigid grid system in favor of a elongated, winding plan with cascading roofs. The village was proposed to be energy efficient, making use of solar and wind patterns, and would also use recycled and renewable materials. Despite Mayne’s effort, London was chosen to host the 2012 Olympics.