Tech giant draws inspiration from own operating system for Olympic pavilion

Though Olympic Games are celebrated for their athletic displays, the competitions also serve as a stage for brands to communicate their identity and developments with a global audience. Microsoft, experiencing a global brand expansion under CEO Satya Nadella, used the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics as a platform to exhibit true cross-platform design, unveiling a pavilion inspired by its Windows 8 digital interface.

Microsoft’s modular pavilion, designed by architecture studio Nowadays, was a colorful conglomerate of different stages and meeting spaces for athletes and the public, in between competitions. The entire complex measured 5-by-30 meters, but included several smaller rectangles arranged around a central courtyard. Rectangles were painted red, orange, yellow, blue, green, and purple—corresponding to the colored squares of the Microsoft logo and the Windows 8 desktop grid.

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