That initial steel-framed project, which
also included a night club and a cinema,
occupied the centre of the Dome (for the
arena), with the other elements wrapping
around approximately half the circumference
of the venue.
Spread in an arc around the northern
part of the arena, the 80-plus retail outlets
for this latest scheme will be arranged either
side of a central street. They will link The
O₂’s main entrance at one end to the existing
entertainment mall at the other.
The construction job is officially known
as Project Mint, with the analogy referring to
the scheme’s resemblance to a Polo Mint with
the arena acting as the central hole. “The
retail outlets will complete the outer ring,
creating a dining and shopping destination,”
explains ISG Project Director Fraser Tanner.
The project can be divided into two
separate parts, a two-storey element and a
single storey element. Both are connected,
although a movement joint with a row of
double columns forms a boundary between
The single storey retail area is being built
on top of a large concrete slab that spans the
arena’s loading bay. This floor was originally
constructed in 2006 to accommodate a
super casino, but the gambling Mecca was
later scrapped and since then the slab had
A series of trusses spans the slab creating
a large column-free space. The trusses
support lightweight metal decking to form
a roof, which was constructed to make sure
the casino was watertight if the Dome’s
fabric roof was ever removed.
The trusses vary in length with the
longest spanning up to 60m. They are all
tapered at both ends and have a maximum
depth of 3m in the centre.
Some shorter trusses have been
installed around the large Blackwall Tunnel
ventilation shaft that protrudes upwards
through the slab and out through an opening
in The O₂’s fabric roof.
This part of the village mall is described
as a pinch point, as the slab and the retail
outlets squeeze around the vent through a
narrower area. There will only be outlets on
one side of the mall in this zone.
“With the trusses in place it was decided
that the steelwork would be hung from
them, thereby creating large column-free
Project Mint, The O₂
Architect: Callison RTKL
Main contractor: ISG
Steel tonnage: 1,800t
The two-storey retail zone will be spanned by
a steel diagrid roof structure supporting a
steel mesh. Measuring 36m at its widest part
and 156m-long, the structure is formed with
a series of CHS members up to 356mm in diameter.
Containing 125t of structural steelwork, this part
of the scheme was fabricated, supplied and erected
by S H Structures. The company also erected the
eight cigar-shaped glulam columns that provide the
primary support for the roof.
The roof structure also connects back to the main
steel frame of the retail zone at approximately 20 roof
Providing this part of the retail village with some
high-level visual drama, a total of 6,500 lightweight
aluminium petals are suspended from the underside
of the steel mesh roof.
Meanwhile, the single storey retail part of the
village will be spanned by a stretched fabric roof
hung from the bottom booms of the large existing
trusses that span the supporting slab.
New steel connects to
the existing trusses to
form plant areas