International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach delivers a speech during the inauguration of the new IOC headquarters on June 23, 2019 in Lausanne, Switzerland, ahead of the decision on 2026 Winter Games host. (Xinhua/POOL/Fabrice COFFRINI)
LAUSANNE, June 23 (Xinhua) -- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially inaugurated its new headquarters "Olympic House" here on Sunday as part of the celebrations of Olympic Day and ahead of the IOC Session to be held in Lausanne from 24 to 26 June.
This year's Olympic Day also marks the 125th anniversary of the creation of the IOC.
The inauguration of the Olympic House, which was attended by IOC members, representatives from international federations and the heads of 206 IOC member committees, is the culmination of a process that started in 2014 when the IOC decided to consolidate its head office in one location.
"When we set out on this project, we wanted it to be more than just another office building," said IOC President Thomas Bach, who received a golden ceremonial key to Olympic House after he had cut the ribbon with Ueli Maurer, President of Switzerland.
"Of course, we wanted to bring together everyone, the Olympic family and all IOC staff, under one roof. In this sense, the Olympic House is an expression of our unity," he added.
According to the IOC, the new Olympic House has been designed as a sustainable building in terms of both construction and operations. It will regroup all IOC staff in one location on the shores of Lake Geneva.
The Olympic House was designed by Danish architecture firm 3XN, which partnered with Swiss architects IttenBrechbühl to oversee the construction of the project.
"In recognition of the symbolism of the Olympic Games and needs of the organization, we designed the new IOC Headquarters around three key elements: movement, flexibility and sustainability," said Jan Ammundsen, Senior Partner and Head of Design at 3XN Architects.
With its dynamic, undulating facade, the building appears different from all angles and conveys the energy of an athlete in motion. Its interior is designed with as few structural constraints as possible. Its spiral staircase depicts the Five Rings while its roof represents the shape of a dove.
From June 23 onwards, the IOC will benefit from two Olympic centers in Lausanne: Olympic House in Vidy to cater for its administration and offer a welcoming meeting place for all its stakeholders; and the Olympic Museum and the Olympic Studies Centre in Ouchy that will host the general public.