Work is complete on the huge southern roof support for the 160m-long wave-shape roof of the Zaha Hadid designed centre, which will mark the gateway to the Olympic Park during the 2012 Games and in legacy.
Work is underway on the two northern roof supports for the 2,800-tonne steel roof which will begin to be installed from spring next year. Over 3,000 tonnes of concrete has been poured to create the base of one of the supports, to bridge the tunnels which have been dug to run powerlines beneath the site. The other northern support is being built with four metres high of concrete already poured.
In legacy the Aquatics Centre will provide elite and community facilities that London does not currently have, including two 50m swimming pools, a diving pool and diving facilities. The pools have been excavated and three quarters of the foundations are complete with already around 1,000 concrete piles driven up to 25m into the ground.
The concrete foundations are also being built for the supports of the huge land bridge that will form the roof of the 50m training pool and the main pedestrian access to the Olympic Park in Games and legacy.
ODA Chief Executive, David Higgins, said: 'Work has surged ahead on the Aquatics Centre since construction started two months earlier than planned this summer. This followed a challenging clean up of one of the most contaminated parts of the Olympic Park site. As the Big Build accelerates into 2009 people are seeing for themselves the Aquatics Centre starting to take shape as it becomes the venue that will be a fantastic ‘gateway to the Games’ and new swimming and diving facilities for London in legacy.'
LOCOG Chairman, Seb Coe, said: 'I’m particularly excited to see the progress being made on the Aquatics Centre - we saw this summer how the whole country responded to the performances of our swimmers. The likes of Rebecca Addlington, Ellie Simmonds and Tom Daley are now household names and all being well, we’ll see them competing in 2012 and building on their achievements this year. I have always thought that seeing is believing on a project like this and the skyline in east London is already beginning to alter as venues begin to be built. This is a much-needed facility in London and one which will benefit both London’s elite athletes and the local community, inspiring future generations of Rebeccas, Ellies and Toms.'
Images of the Aquatics Centre ‘big build’ and digital images can be downloaded at: http://mm.gettyimages.com/mm/nicePath/locog?nav=pr119761057
Aquatics Centre factfile
1. The Zaha Hadid designed Aquatics Centre is located in the south of the Olympic Park and will be the main ‘Gateway into the Games', hosting swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, water polo finals and the swimming discipline of the Modern Pentathlon
2. The Aquatics Centre will have a capacity of 17,500 during the Games, reducing to a maximum of 2,500 in legacy, with the ability to add 1,000 for major events, and provide two 50m swimming pools, a diving pool and dry diving area - facilities London does not have at present
3. Eleven industrial buildings have been demolished on the 55,000 m2 site.
4. Around 160,000 tonnes of soil have been dug out on of what was one of the more challenging and complex areas of the Olympic Park, contaminated with pollutants including petrol, oil, tar, solvents and heavy metals such as arsenic and lead
5. Four skeletons were discovered and removed from a prehistoric settlement discovered on the site of the Aquatic Centre.
6. 140,000 tonnes of clean soil has been brought from other areas of the Olympic Park to prepare for construction to start.
7. Planning permission has been achieved and Balfour Beatty is building the Aquatics Centre and huge land-bridge that forms the roof of the training pool and the main pedestrian access to the Olympic Park. Construction work will be complete in 2011 for test events ahead of the Games.
8. The sweeping roof, which is 160m long and 80m at its widest point, is an innovative 2800 tonne steel structure with a striking and robust aluminium covering resting on three supports.
9. The roof will be internally and externally clad with timber. The team is currently considering and testing different types of timber to ensure the timber selected works both for the Games and in legacy before installation in 2010.
10. The river that runs alongside the venue has been widened by 8m by building 550m of new river walls.
11. The huge completed southern roof support is 9m high, 28m long, over 5m wide, using 850m³ of concrete
12. A 3000 tonne concrete ‘bridge’ has been built spanning and protecting the tunnels which have been dug to run powerlines beneath the site. the northwest roof support will be built on top of this base.
13. The steel frame is in place for the northeast roof support, with four metres high of concrete already poured.
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The construction of the venues and infrastructure of the London 2012 Games is funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Mayor of London and the London Development Agency.
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