Clearly visible from the Greenway in the south of the Olympic Park, the Pumping Station is one of the Park’s smallest buildings – but nevertheless plays a crucial role.
The design and build
The Pumping Station has the least glamorous but one of the most important roles on the Olympic Park – collecting, conveying and removing wastewater from the main venues and buildings.
It is linked to London’s Victorian sewerage network, created by Sir Joseph Balzagette in the 19th century. The Northern Outfall Sewer runs beneath the Greenway – a raised pedestrian walkway overlooking the Olympic Park – with the Pumping Station beside it at Pudding Mill designed to lift waste water up in to the existing sewer.
The innovative design clearly shows the building’s function but also provides an orienteering beacon and visual interest for pedestrians.
The circular design of the building reflects the shape of the chamber sewer shafts below ground, and it uses architecturally striking elements, such as an illuminated ventilation tower and two bright pink filtration cylinders, to create a visual landmark. Engineering drawings of Sir Joseph Balzagette’s nearby 19th century Victorian pumping station decorate the exterior walls.
The station has a series of pumps, which can be increased or decreased according to demand, to maximise efficiency. The roof of the building is also planted with sedum.
Construction was completed in January 2010.
After the Games
After the Games, the Pumping Station will continue to serve the local area.