The construction of one of the final London 2012 venues on the Olympic Park – the 5,000 capacity Water Polo Arena - is now complete, one month before hosting its test event.
The temporary venue was built in just 13 months by firms from across the UK (see notes to editors). These include an east London construction company previously based on the Olympic Park site and specialising in building stages and support structures for major events, including the 2010 Ryder Cup.
The Arena is easily distinguishable by its silver-coloured wrap and an inflatable roof, made from recyclable plastic (download images and b-roll footage). It holds almost three million litres of water in the warm-up and competition pools.
The wedge-shaped structure will stage the men’s and women’s Water Polo competition during the Olympic Games. Afterwards, the venue will be taken down, with elements reused elsewhere in the UK, including incorporating materials available through the rental market to promote reuse and reduce construction waste.
The venue is based at the main eastern entrance to the Olympic Park next to the Aquatics Centre, in one of the most compact areas of the 500-acre site. To make the best use of available space, the two buildings share a number of back of house facilities.
Spectators will be able to access the internal concourse level with step-free access via a series of accessible ramps.
The London Organising Committee (LOCOG) will now begin work fitting the venue out ready to host a test event in May and the Games themselves. Additional tickets for the Visa Water Polo International, which takes place from 3-6 May, go on sale tomorrow, Tuesday 3 April at 10am, via www.ticketmaster.co.uk/londonpreparesseries.
The London 2012 test event is part of the London Prepares series. The tournament will feature two matches per day with competing women’s teams from Great Britain, Australia, USA and Hungary. This top-level line up will give spectators a taste of what to expect at London 2012.
Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said: “Completing the construction of the Water Polo Arena marks the end of the ODA’s major venue work on the Olympic Park. That we’ve been able to do it using the combined expertise of companies from across the UK shows how British businesses can rise to the challenge of meeting the ultimate deadline – and exceed expectations. The unique sloping roof design makes it instantly recognisable and, as with all our venues, huge efforts have gone into both sustainability and ensuring we don’t build venues that have no use after the Games.”
Seb Coe, Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee said: “The Waterpolo Arena will be a great stage for epic Olympic medal battles in this fast and tough sport this summer. We will now be working hard to quickly prepare the Arena for fans to cheer on some of the worlds-best players at the Visa Waterpolo Invitational in May, a vital test event for LOCOG ahead of the Games themselves.”
- Notes to Editors -
Water Polo Arena fact-file:
- The sloping roof is made from air-inflated recyclable phthalate-free PVC cushions which provide extra insulation and reduce condensation. The material covers 6710m2.
- The venue is wrapped in a distinctive silver membrane with translucent shard shaped panels and its asymmetric shape gives the best sightlines for viewing Water Polo.
- The competition pool measures 37mx23mx2m deep.
- The warm up pool is 33mx21mx2m deep.
- The competition Pool holds 1,531,000 litres of water, the warm-up pool 1,247,000 litres, making a total of 2,778,000 litres.
- Provides step-free access without the need for lifts.
- Reduces water use by 40 per cent through low flow taps and showers and waterless urinals.
- There are 98 rooms in the venue comprising areas for spectators, athletes, officials, Games family media and operations.
- It is wholly accessible, with space for 43 wheelchairs via sloped approaches.
- Located close to Stratford Regional and Stratford International stations, the Water Polo Arena will be easily accessible by public transport.
- After the Games the riverside site to the north of the Aquatics Centre will be developed by the London Legacy Development Corporation.
Water Polo Arena construction and design team:
- The contractors and suppliers were appointed to deliver the Water Polo Arena through the existing ODA managed package frameworks set up to efficiently deliver a range of temporary and smaller permanent venues.
- ES Group, based in Silvertown, east London, built the main structure. The company, which was previously based on the Olympic Park site, was relocated to its current address as part of the relocation of businesses to enable construction to start.
- Ipswich-based Jackson Civil Engineering Group Ltd undertook the substructure works.
- Alto Seating Systems Ltd, Redditch, Worcestershire, constructed the seating.
- A&T/ Barr & Wray (Glasgow) installed the temporary pools.
- Byrne Group Plc, Teddington, Surrey undertook general building work.
- The design team, led by David Morley Architects, also includes Buro Happold (Bath) and Max Fordham.
- Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Ltd did the mechanical and electrical work.
Water Polo test event tickets
- Additional tickets for the Visa Water Polo International event go on sale from April 3 at 10am via www.ticketmaster.co.uk/londonpreparesseries
- As a sponsor of London 2012, Visa (debit, credit, prepaid) is the only card accepted for online ticket sales for these London Prepares series events.
Water Polo – a history:
- Men's Water Polo made its debut at the 1900 Paris Games. Women’s Water Polo was introduced in Sydney 2000.
Water Polo – the rules:
- Players use a ball weighing between 400g and 450g and aim to score goals in a three-metre wide, 90-centimetre high net that sits on top of the water. Each team only has 30 seconds to score before the ball is passed to the opposition.
- You are not allowed to touch the bottom or the side of the pool during a match, which lasts for four periods of seven minutes each. Top water polo players swim five kilometres (three miles) in each match.
– Ends –
For further information please contact the Olympic Delivery Authority Press Office on +44 (0)203 2012 700, or +44 (0) 7500 790534 out of hours.