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First look at Zaha's Olympic Aquatic Centre roof

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Work has completed on the installation of the wave-like roof, the crowning glory of Zaha Hadid’s London Olympics Aquatics Centre

The project has been described as ‘the most complicated engineering challenge’ anywhere on the London 2012 Olympic Park.

Manoeuvring the enormous 2,800 tonne signature piece into position at the venue in Stratford, East London, began in March this year.

The budget-busting £251 million venue, located in the southern section of the Olympic Park, is being billed as the main ‘Gateway into the Games’.

During the Games the 17,500-seat centre will host swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, water polo finals and the swimming discipline of the modern pentathlon.

After 2012 its maximum capacity will be reduced to 2,500, with the ability to add 1,000 for major events. There will also be two 50-metre swimming pools, a diving pool and dry diving area.

Work begins this autumn on the aluminium roof covering and early next year installation will start on the timber cladding of the ceiling. Construction started on the venue’s foundations in July 2008.

Andrew Altman, chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company which is responsible for the long term planning, management and maintenance of the Olympic Park and venues after the Games, said: ‘The Aquatics Centre will be an iconic building and a thriving centre for community use in the Park after the Games. Its two 50m pools and a 25m diving pool will also offer elite swimmers a world class training facility.   

‘Its roof is set to become one of the most recognisable features of the Park.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Dry diving? There are no bounds to Hadid's inventiveness (or was it a cost saving?)

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