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Rio 2016: The transformation of the Olympic Park

By Ollie Williams, for CNN

Published 0855 GMT (1655 HKT) July 12, 2016
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The Museum of Tomorrow is a standout architectural monument in Rio's harbor zone, revitalized as part of the city's Olympic preparations. But how is the rest of the Olympic Park shaping up?
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Aerial view of the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on April 13, 2016.
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Inside one of the halls of the new Olympic Training Center on the Barra park. This one will host judo and wrestling during the Rio Olympics. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The Olympic Training Center's halls, in common with other Olympic Park venues, have been designed to a modular blueprint -- meaning some venues can be moved away from the park entirely when the Games conclude, while others can be transformed into different facilities. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images
A general view of inside the Future Arena at the Olympic Park which will host handball matches during the Summer Games in Rio. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Handball will take place on Rio's Barra Olympic Park alongside the likes of tennis, track cycling, fencing, judo and swimming.
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Experts suggest Rio's Olympic Park venues will be functional, if not spectacular. The Aquatics Stadium is described by its own architects as "basically a glass box." YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images
While Rio hasn't had too many problems with late venues, the velodrome was one of them. Track cycling's Olympic venue was finally handed over at the end of last week.
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Remember the Olympic Lanes from past Games, to help accredited guests and workers get around quickly? In Rio, they're back.
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Transport has been one of Rio's biggest problems. This new subway line to the main Olympic Park in the Barra neighborhood is still under construction as the days tick down.
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"The transport system in Barra is definitely a plus," says local architect Barbara Iseli of other Olympics-inspired upgrades to services like the bus network. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images
New transport links, new homes and new business districts mean revitalization projects inspired by Rio 2016 will "create neighborhoods in the city" -- according to Bill Hanway of AECOM, the company responsible for the Olympic Park's masterplan.
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Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava designed the Museum of Tomorrow, which was opened in December last year.
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Local architects say the Museum of Tomorrow is the jewel of Rio's newly redeveloped Porto Maravilha -- and is a more eye-catching design than any new venues the 2016 Olympics have to offer. Mario Tama/Getty Images
The late Oscar Niemeyer, one of the world's great architects, was born in Rio. His Museum of Contemporary Art (center) is one of Rio state's best-known landmarks, lying across the bay from the city center.
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Niemeyer's museum design has been likened to a flying saucer. The building was completed in 1996, 16 years before the architect's death.
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This is Rio 2016's main press center, or MPC, where thousands of journalists will gather while reporting on the Games.
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