NBC’s Olympic studios capture winter while providing modern venue for TV

NBC Sports’ multiple homes for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, include a vibrant mix of designs that offer viewers a full spectrum of motifs blended with technology and Asian influences.

Bryan Higgason of HD Studio, along with Paul Benson and Sid Wichienkuer, created four distinct spaces for NBC’s coverage of the Olympics.

The largest studio space, used mainly for primetime coverage, is a massive geodesic dome located inside the International Broadcast Centre.  The inspiration for this dome came from architectural research about traditional building shapes used in colder climates around the world — such as yurts, dome tents and igloos, explained Higgason.

“The geodesic dome has a strong visual relationship to these traditional shapes. We modernized and abstracted the dome idea by pulling it apart and revealing some interesting shapes,” Higgason told NewscastStudio in an interview.

A wide view of Studio A, NBC’s main primetime studio in the IBC. Photos courtesy of NBC Sports.

During the design process, the natural curve of the dome translated smoothly into bold and strong triangular shapes, but the patterns were also heavily influenced by traditional Korean patterns used in textiles and architecture, as well as a unifying theme of movement and harmony.

Another iconic Korean pattern, the Hangul trigrams on the Korean flag, served as the basis for the floor pattern, notes Higgason.

These shapes and motifs were carried through to the other three studios HD Studio created for NBC Olympics.