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Quiz: Which Country Should Win the Design Olympics?

By: Casey Gerber

August 19, 2016

Via Canadian Design Firm, Yabu Pushelberg

Have you ever wondered what exactly goes down at the Summer Games when the Olympians are off duty? Both on and off the sporting arena, the Olympics are a time for countries to strut their stuff and celebrate their national pride. From multicultural exhibitions to electronic dance parties, the National Houses are the place to be as soon the final buzzer sounds.

These are the amazing country-sponsored Hospitality Houses around Rio de Janeiro that deserve a gold medal in our design Olympics. Which are your favorite? Vote here!


The Canada House: Perhaps the most exclusive of all of the country houses, Canada’s is open to just the team themselves and their guests. That makes us seriously bummed, because fave Canadian firm Yabu Pushelberg created a wildly inventive space where rowing sculls double as modern light fixtures and oars spiral into geometric art. canada_04

Canada house_02

All photos courtesy of Yabu Pushelberg

The Switzerland House: It may be the Summer Olympics, but Switzerland has brought a taste of the Alps with the house along Rio’s Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. Expect everything from an ice skating rink to a revolving gondola.


Via luzernerzeitung

The British House: Great Britain’s Hospitality House is located at perhaps the most historical spot in Rio, the Parque Lage. There, invited guests will get to soak in views of the Atlantic Forest, “Mata Atlântica,” and take advantage of business as well as cultural activities. We love the understated nods to the Union Jack via the red, white, and blue palette.

Via Architectural Digest

Via Architectural Digest





Via House Beautiful

The USA House: Serving over 24,000 guests, Team USA chose a 50,000 square foot compound at The San Paulo school as their temporary home. In exchange for taking over the school during the Olympics, Team USA leaves behind lasting improvements like repairing broken walls, adding air conditioning, and refinishing the floors. And we think the beachy red, white, and blue design is pretty great too.


Via Architectural Digest



Via Architectural Digest



Via Architectural Digest

The Holland Heineken House: Ever since the 1992 Games in Barcelona, Heineken has been the official sponsor of Holland. Voted “Best Night Out” at the 2012 games, The Holland Heineken House is definitely following suit again this year with a giant screen where you can watch the games without leaving the pool (or the swim-up bar!).


Via Holland Heineken House



Via Holland Heineken House

The Portugal House: The only hospitality house located off of dry land, Portuguese fans and athletes call the 1937 naval ship, The Sagres, home during the games.

Portugal house

Via Visit Rio

The Denmark House: Designed with Danish maritime history in mind, the Denmark House is a tent-like structure on Ipanema Beach that showcases everything from bicycles and electronic music to Scandinavian design.

Denmark House5

Via Pedro Kok


Denmark House2

Via Pedro Kok

The German House: Boasting two terraces, a pool, and the best beach in Rio, The German House feels like a high-end resort. 


Via Paralympic.org

The Japan House: Serving as a place to promote the 2020 Games in Tokyo, Japan spent ¥1.3 billion to design a home for press conferences and other cultural activities such as tea ceremonies and calligraphy.


Via Cidade des Artes


Japan house11

Via Cidade des Artes

The Bayt Qatar: For an entrance fee of $20, guests at the Bayt Qatar are able to enjoy some of the best food that the Olympics has to offer. With its very own Souq, fine dining experiences, and fashion shows, you can sneak in a trip to the Middle East without leaving Brazil.


Via Bayt Qatar


Via Bayt Qatar


So, which Olympic Hospitality House is taking its design all the way to the finish line? Be sure to vote above.

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