Monumental sculpture by Olivier Strebelle, for the Peking Olympic games

Olivier Strebelle was in his lifetime a figurehead in Belgian modern and contemporary art. Active since the late forties, he created some Belgian (“Bayard Horse” in Namur, “Flight in Mind” at Zaventem Airport, “Phoenix 44” in Brussels, “Confluences” at the European Parliament, etc.) and international emblems (“Orchard Light” in Jeju in Korea, “The Abduction of Europe” Europe Square in Moscow, etc.). The “Athletes Alley” is a creation that has matured over a period of more than 20 years, making it a unique sculpture in the world in size and style. Spread over 105m long, five modules of interlaced stainless-steel tubes, erect from the ground up to 20m high forming a figurative group representing the 5 athletes and the rings of the Olympic symbol. From one frontal focal point, the composition reveals five shapes carrying the Olympic rings. The structure is the sculpture itself made up of these steel tubes punctually linked and forming beams that have a highly complex behaviour. The global analysis of the installation was carried out with the Sofistik software. Apart from the usual issues of resistance under its own weight, wind and earthquake resistance, one of the difficult issues in the analysis was to ensure the rings maintained their circular shape once the sculpture had been deformed under its own weight….

Art work
Materials and construction systems
Steel frame
China, Bejing
Feasibility study, Structural design stages, Working and Shop drawings
Olivier Strebelle sculptor
ASBL, Project Management La Fonderie, Gad Weil
Associate Engineering Offices
Christian Lapeyre, Bureau Veritas
Amount of work
4.5 M€
Photo credits
Completion date