Special Issue: Olympic Structures for London 2012
7 Project focus papers each detailing one of the major Olympic structures:
Velodrome; Basketball Arena; Olympic and Paralympic Village; International Broadcast Centre; Copper Box; Aquatics Centre and Olympic Stadium
Publish Date – 7 June 2012
There is something rather deep-rooted about our desire to produce buildings choreographed to focus the attention of the spectator on the activities within. The use of a circular geometry to achieve this goes back a long way, from Stonehenge and Celtic stone circles to the Pantheon and the Colosseum, via Santa Maria del Fiore to St Peter’s Square in the Vatican City, to bullrings, soccer stadia, athletics tracks and velodromes.
Civil and structural engineers Fenton Holloway worked with Barr Construction Ltd to prepare both compliant and alternative design and build submissions for the building shell element of the 12 000-seat temporary demountable Basketball Arena. The compliant tender submission was based on the scheme design prepared by the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA's) appointed design team. The alternative bid retained the essence of the architectural concept but concentrated on value-engineered solutions that integrated the frame, fabric and ancillary elements to greater effect.
Some of the challenges faced by Robert Bird Group and The Design Team during the design and construction of the Olympic and Paralympic Village are summarised. The Olympic and Paralympic Village consists of 2818 apartments in 11 plots and were built to accommodate over 17 000 athletes as part of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. After the Games the plots will be converted into a residential community, which will contribute to the overall regeneration of the Stratford area of London.
The International Broadcast Centre (IBC) is a high proﬁ le prestigious project funded by public money in very challenging economic times. RPS was presented with a brief to deliver the design of the building to an accelerated programme, at the lowest possible cost, whilst containing ﬂ exible broadcasting space with legacy opportunities.
The IBC will accommodate the world’s broadcasters for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.The building was designed and constructed to maintain a ﬂ exible space that has the potential to be subdivided if required. The resultant design was to ‘Secured by Design’ standards and approved by the Commission for the Built Environment (CABE).
An excellent example of sustainable legacy design, the Copper Box (Figure 1) is one of the jewels in the new Olympic Park. This paper looks at the design of the building; home to handball, goalball and the fencing elements of the Modern Pentathlon during the 2012 Games. It begins with an explanation of the initial concepts that drove the design of the scheme and goes on to show how those concepts were realised as the eventual design solution. A more detailed description of the structural design is then provided, demonstrating how the development of this was also heavily inﬂ uenced by the initial concepts. The paper concludes with an explanation of some of the more interesting and challenging aspects of the actual construction.
The Aquatics Centre is a centrepiece of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and undoubtedly will be one of the greatest legacies left to London as a lasting symbol of this event, which will transform East London. The facility has been designed primarily as an iconic legacy building with all Olympic Mode add-ons as temporary elements designed to be simple, functional and as economic as possible whilst maintaining the operational requirements of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The UK Olympic Stadium, which will host athletic events and the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has developed around an innovative use of permanent and temporary structures designed to meet the 80 000 Games spectator capacity and a 25 000 Legacy spectator capacity.