International Union of Architects
Member Area

Sports and Leisure

What we do


The UIA Sports & Leisure Work Programme promotes quality sport and Olympic facilities at an international level, through the collective expertise of its members. This UIA Work Programme is implicated in decision-making processes for, amongst others, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, FIFA, IAAF, FINA, and UCI 


The Work Programme also advises countries on the socio-economical potential of competitive sporting facilities; supports local and national policy-makers in developing attractive, functional and sustainable facilities; and furthers international exchanges of information and cooperation in the field of sport and leisure facilities. 


How we do it


Monitoring – The Programme monitors the evolution of Olympic/Paralympic complexes before, during, and after the games, laying particular emphasis on the sustainability and reuse of facilities.


Research visits – Our members visit pilot complexes in various countries developing new approaches to elite sport architecture.


Events – The Programme organises informative seminars and conferences in collaboration with partner organisations.


Who we work with


Various sporting and Olympic committees, a network of architects specialised in sport and leisure facilities, local and national legislators. 


  • René Kural - Nordic Countries
    René Kural is committed to ensuring that his work promotes "the good life" through the influence of architecture, urban planning, urban space and landscape. With this vision he is involved in research, dissemination, counseling and development tasks for Danish and foreign municipalities, architectural studios, boards and foundations. René is a practicing architect and associate professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation (KADK). He is the director of the research unit Activity and Health-enhancing Physical Environments Network (APEN) and of the international research unit Active Cities Net-work (ACN). Since 2002, René is head of the research and innovation unit Center for Sports and Architecture (CIA) at KADK (Copenhagen). He has authored ten books and numerous articles and has lectured in Asia and Europe - most recently as a visiting professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. In 2013, he received the Olympic Committee (IOC / IAKS) bronze for Herning Foot Ball Experimentarium (Denmark) in collaboration with GBH Landscape. René is a member of the expert panel for the International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA Awards 2018), acting as judge in architectural competitions and censor at PhD theses in Denmark and abroad.


  • Alessandra Ferrari - Italy
  • João Paulo Bessa - Portugal
  • Dénes Patonai - Hungary
  • Diana Leikina - Federation of Russia
  • Jaime Hernan Bruzon Gomez - Colombia
  • Phoebe Sin Yeung To - Hong Kong
  • Gar Holohan - Ireland
    Gar is Executive Chair of the Aura Holohan Leisure Group, who provide design and facility management services for sports, leisure and entertainment facilities. A member of the International Union of Architects Working Group on Sport & Leisure for 20 years, Gar developed his passion for sports and leisure architecture when travelling the world with the Irish Squash Team, and has played a major role in raising standards of sports and leisure planning and design in Ireland and internationally. He has been a consultant to the Irish Department of Tourism, Transport and Sport for over 20 years, and led consultant teams for the planning and design of the €200m Irish National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, and the preparation of the Irish National Sports Facility Strategy. Holohan Architects have designed more than 50 major sports and leisure projects in Ireland and the UK, including water leisure centres, stadia, fitness facilities and entertainment venues.
  • Geraint JOHN - United Kingdom
    Honorary life Director/Sport and Leisure
Reference documents
Activity Report 2020: Sports & Leisure Work Programme

General Secretariat

The UIA General Secretariat, placed under the responsibility of the Secretary General, is the Union's executive body and the administrative centre for the coordination of relations between the UIA Member Sections and their activities.

The General Secretariat assists architects and architecture students in getting into contact with professional colleagues throughout the world, from professional organisations and architectural schools to museums and media.

The General Secretariat helps architects to keep up to date with UIA activities, its partners and Member Sections.

General Secretariat of the International Union of Architects

Tour Maine Montparnasse
33, avenue du Maine - B.P. 158
75755 PARIS Cedex 15 – France

Tel: +33 (0)1 45 24 36 88