It’s now only a few days before the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics in London, and we at ARCHITECT have put together a sample of some of the iconic stadia of previous games, as captured by the lenses of Esto’s photographers. Tokyo’s 1964 Games featured the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium by the Pritzker Prize–winning Fumihiko Maki, among other notable projects. In 2004, Santiago Calatrava’s Olympic Stadium stole the spotlight with its dynamic retractable glass roof and curvaceous form; he also designed the Velodrome for that year’s games. Beijing’s 2008 Olympiad saw the first collaboration between Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron, which yielded the Bird’s Nest, while Michael Phelps dominated the swimming at the Water Cube.

For more coverage on this year’s Olympic buildings (and a chance to earn 1 LU hour of AIA/CES credit), check out Aaron Seward's post.