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Lyall honours Bazalgette with Olympic sewage pumping station

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[FIRST LOOK + FACTFILE] John Lyall Architects has completed this sewage facility on the 2012 Olympic Games site in East London.

The Pudding Mill primary foul pumping station is clad in ‘intricately patterned’ concrete panels, created using rubber moulds, which depict drawings by sewerage pioneer Joseph Bazalgette of his nearby Victorian Abbey Mills sewage station.The pumping station’s pink cylinders have been nicknamed Pinky and Perky.

The scheme is the first of a series of infrastructure projects designed by the practice on the Olympic Park for Thames Water.

‘The pumping station is not just functional but also another building of architectural interest in the Olympic Park.’

Simon Wright, the Olympic Delivery Authority’s director of infrastructure and utilities, said: ‘The Pumping Station delivers another essential building block in a new network of utilities that will serve the Olympic Park for generations to come.

‘While the new sporting venues in the Olympic Park will be the main attraction in 2012, the utilities buildings we are constructing will be every bit as essential in helping us deliver a successful Games and a lasting legacy from 2012.

‘The use of key design elements ensure the pumping station is not just functional but also another building of architectural interest in the Olympic Park.’

Pumping Station factfile

  • Images have been applied to the exterior of the Pumping Station building of Sir Joseph Balzagette’s drawings of a Victorian sewage pumping station to depict the history of the London sewer network and its Victorian origins
  • Two large cylinders housed on outside of building that form part of the air extraction system have been painted pink - the striking pink cylinders have already been nicknamed Pinky and Perky by site workers
  • The building includes a 12m-high ventilation tower which includes a blue light at the top to create a ‘beacon’ in the south of the Olympic Park
  • Construction of Pumping Station and sewer networks started in June 2008 and more than 100 workers were involved at the peak of activity
  • The pumping station building is 6m high and the circular outer shell measures 20m across
  • Beneath pumping station structure is a 16m-deep, 12.5m diameter shaft connecting the pumping station with 1.8km of sewer tunnels of 1.2m diameter which have been constructed throughout the Olympic Park.
  • The complex network of new sewers had to be constructed around a number of obstacles throughout the Olympic Park including 4 rivers and watercourses and 2 operational railway lines
  • Sewer networks collect waste water from sites of main venues and buildings in the Olympic Park, and transport it to the pumping station building in the south of the Park where it is then discharged into the Northern Outfall Sewer
  • The Olympic Stadium is set to be the first Olympic Park venue to have a permanent connection with the new pumping station and sewer system
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