AccessArt Olympics: Stadium Design

Explore the project below to help pupils consider how they might design and build an Olympic and Paralympic stadium for an Olympic Ceremony.

Stadium Design

Aim: To introduce pupils to architecture through stadium design. Pupils will get the opportunity to transform and manipulate materials through model making, thinking about the form and function of a stadium.

Step 1: Introduce in Sketchbooks

Consider asking pupils to make an Olympic project sketchbook using one of the “Making Sketchbooks” resources.

Begin by introducing students to stadiums designed for the Olympics and Paralympics with”Talking Points: Olympic and Paralympic Stadiums“. Invite pupils to create “Visual Notes” in their sketchbooks inspired by the information they see. 


© Iwan Baan

Step 2: Drawing and Making

Using “Drawing Source Material: Inspirational Stadiums” invite pupils to create drawings inspired by what they can see. Find out how to run this guided session with the “Show Me What You See” resource.

Introduce this short making task “Roots and Shoots” to get pupils to think about how they might get creative with making, attaching and manipulating materials.


Step 3: Making

Get pupils to work in pairs or small groups to create “A Model Studio” of a stadium. They may choose to start with designing or making first. Remind them of what they learnt about materials in the previous step.

Alternatively, you may want to build stadiums by adapting “Inspired by google Earth: Making“. Use polystyrene to build the stadium from the ground up.

Extension: Use the “Taking Photos of 3D Artwork” resource to incorporate a digital element into the project. For help with introducing pupils to green screens see the “Exploring Scale with Green Screens” resource.

Building with Polystyrene

Step 4: Reflect

Use the resource here to help you run a class “crit” to finish the project. 

Invite children to display the work in a clear space on tables or on the wall. Recap with them about the exploration – where they started, what they discovered and what they enjoyed. 

If you have class cameras or tablets, invite the children to document their work, working in pairs or teams.

Final model using wood, foam, plastic and glue - susie olczak
ages 9-11
ages 11-14



A3 Paper

Drawing materials

Making Materials: Card, Coffee stirrers and/or lolly sticks, Twigs, Foam board, Toothpicks, Wire, String, Colour Gels, Polystyrene, Cardboard

PVA Glue


Glue Guns

Tablet (Optional)

Green Card (Optional)


You may like to shift the focus of this project to Ancient Greek architecture and stadiums, to explore structures such as the Parthenon. You may find resources in the “A Sketchbook Pathway, Anglo Saxon Architecture” helpful. 

Think about significant buildings or history within the local area that you could integrate elements of into stadiums, forming links to locality.


Explore Other Resources in Ceremony:

Explore other olympic themes