The curtains of Olympic Games 2012 is opening right now in London Olympic Stadium. As the whole stadium will be fully crowded with 80000 visitors in the galleries alone, questions could naturally come regarding its strength, its building methods and used technology. London Olympic Stadium is the lightest, most flexible and most sustainable ever built, so to say. You will find more intriguing facts about it below.
Basic Information About London’s Olympic Stadium
The construction of London Olympic Stadium began in May 2008. It was opened in 2011. The stadium is designed by US-based architectural firm Populous, which also designed the new Yankee Stadium, Stadium Australia, Johannesburg Soccer Stadium (2010 Football World Cup venue). It is the third-largest stadium in England. The capacity of this stadium is 80,000. The London Olympic Stadium is located Marshgate Lane, which is diamond-shaped island between two waterways. A total of £486 million ($785 million) has been spent to build this stadium.
Glimpse On London Olympic Stadium’s Structure
London Olympic Stadium is a ‘temporary’ stadium. It is called ‘temporary’ because the bolts that hold the steel can be removed. Populous’s architects created a Lego-like modular structure wherein the roof, outer bowl, inner bowl and ancillary support pieces, restrooms, concessions, etc. are all independent at their place. In the stadium’s construction, more than 50 percent of the materials used, were made from recycled things.
Populous used 10,000 tons of steel to create the stadium. The stadium’s base level is constructed of low-carbon-dioxide concrete (40 percent less than regular concrete). 800,000 tonnes of dirt was hauled out of the location’s ground, to a depth of 20 meters.
The designers made the structure of the stadium in such a way that the athletes (players) will get the perfect conditions all the time. Populous used 275,000 square feet of one-millimeter-thick fabric made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) coated polyester. This one millimeter thick fabric was specially designed for the Olympic Events. The fabric contains less PVC than a traditional roof covering. But, the strength of the fabric is so high that it can support the weight of 34 double-decker London buses. In fact, Populous created a basic oval-shaped structure, 3,000 feet in circumference. Be noted, the roof is ‘incomplete’. Hence, it can’t cover the entire stadium, rather it covers about two-thirds of the seats.
The roof of the stadium looks like the spokes on a bicycle. The compression truss system circles the stadium with tubular-steel components connecting to an interior cable-net ring with steel cables that hold the fabric tight. The entire lightweight self-stable structure contains 28 roof column bases which holds 260 x 310 meter steel compression truss and 6,000 meters of steel cable.
Outside the main stadium, there are restrooms and concessions. The concessions, restrooms and other facilities are placed in “separate villages.” To block the winds hitting a weak spot in the southwest part, designers erected a concrete wall. Besides, there is another essential part of the anti-wind effort. It is called the “wrap”. Wrap is actually 336 strips of fabric around the outside of the stadium. Each strip is 82 feet tall and 8 feet wide. Spectators can have a soothe entry under 90 degree angled strip and can watch the Olympic games.