Yrjö Lindegren

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Competed in Olympic Games (non-medal events)
Full nameYrjö Lorenz•Lindegren
Used nameYrjö•Lindegren
Born13 August 1900 in Tampere, Pirkanmaa (FIN)
Died12 November 1952 in Helsinki, Uusimaa (FIN)
NOC Finland
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


Finnish architect Yrjö Lindegren won the gold medal in the Art Competitions at the 1948 London Olympics in the category Design For Town Planning with his Model for “The Centre of Athletics in Varkaus”. The planned sports center Varkauden Urheilukeskus was never realized due to disagreement between the main sponsor and the community. It was to consist of 45 different elements (sports field, sports hall, swimming pool, tennis and ball courts, and a rowing regatta, but also a lookout tower and locations for outdoor theater and parties). At the intended site on the island of Kanavasaari only one sports field was created and opened in 1951. Later, a grandstand and an ice rink were added.

Lindegren studied at the Technical University of Helsinki and founded his own architecture studio. He planned mainly sports facilities but also industrial buildings and residential complexes. His “snake house” Käärmetalo in Helsinki from 1951 became particularly well-known. Lindegren designed the Olympic Stadium of Helsinki for the Olympic Games in 1940 together with Toivo Jäntti. Although the Games were not held due to World War II, the stadium was built in 1938, and was eventually used for the 1952 Olympics. In 1937 Lindegren won the Grand Prix for architecture at the World’s Fair in Paris. In the mid-1940s, he worked together with Alvar Aalto and Viljo Revell, making several community plans for post-World War II Finland. Lindegren died of a heart attack shortly after the Helsinki Olympics.

In 1952, Lindegren presented his design of of Tampere’s Ratina Stadium from the year 1950 at the Olympic art exhibition. He won a competition against Immu Niemeläinen. Lindegren’s project included a stadium and a sports hall with a view to the Helsinki Olympics. By 1952, however, the stadium had only been provisionally completed. Nevertheless, several games of the Olympic football (soccer) tournament were held here. The audience of up to 20,000 spectators had to watch the action from temporary earth walls. The 1928 decathlon gold medalist Paavo Yrjölä lit another Olympic flame in the stadium. After Lindegren’s sudden death, his colleague, Prof. Aulis Blomstedt (1906-79), was to finalize his plans. At least the stadium was finally completed in 1966 with a newly designed grandstand by Timo Penttilä (1931-2011).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Art Competitions FIN Yrjö Lindegren
Architecture, Designs For Town Planning, Open (Olympic) 1 Gold
1952 Summer Olympics Art Competitions FIN Yrjö Lindegren
Architecture, Open (Olympic (non-medal)) AC