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The Olympic Park

International Broadcast Centre/Main Press Centre

Steel’s inherent sustainability and flexibility has come to the fore on the Olympic Park’s Handball Arena. Already completed, the venue – which contains 1,000t of structural steelwork erected by Watson Steel Structures – will seat up to 7,000 spectators and host qualifying games for the handball competition as well as modern pentathlon fencing and goalball during the Paralympic Games. After the Olympics, the sustainable arena will become a multi-sports venue with retractable seating for around 6,000 spectators and flexible facilities catering for training and competition for all levels of indoor sport.

As well as the three main venues, the Olympic Park also includes a raft of other structures,  all of which are essential for hosting a successful Games. Steel is playing a key role in the construction of many of these structures, some of which are temporary and consequently rely on steel’s lightweight construction and the ease with which it can be disassembled.

Olympic Energy Centre

Temporary structures include the Basketball and Water Polo arenas, while important permanent buildings include the completed Energy Centre (left). This facility will provide an efficient low carbon heating and cooling system across the site and will contribute towards the ODA’s overall target to reduce carbon emissions by 50% across the Olympic Park. The AA Group supplied and erected 500t of structural steelwork for the state-of-the-art Energy Centre, a building which will also provide the energy for new buildings and communities that will occupy the site after the Games.

Another similar energy centre has been constructed on the adjacent Stratford City development, supplying the power for Westfield’s large retail site (a project which has seen Severfield-Reeve Structures supply in excess of 40,000t of steel). Steelwork has also been used for the construction of the International Broadcast Centre/Main Press Centre (steelwork supplied and erected by Severfield-Reeve Structures) and a host of bridges – needed for access into and around the Olympic Park. The site’s bridge structures have been erected by Watson Steel Structures and Mabey Bridge among others.

 

The 12,000 seat Basketball Arena has been formed by a series of the 35m-high arched steel trusses. Erected by Watson Steel Structures, the 1,000t steel frame of the temporary 115m long Arena, is wrapped in 20,000m² of fabric to form a canvas for an innovative light design. Main contractor Barr Construction will own the Arena structure, with the ODA renting it for the duration of the Games. Afterwards, the contractor will dismantle it to be reused elsewhere, a process made easier with a steel framed structure.

Steel’s inherent sustainability and flexibility has come to the fore on the Olympic Park’s Handball Arena. Already completed, the venue - which contains 1,000t of structural steelwork erected by Watson Steel Structures - will seat up to 7,000 spectators and host qualifying games for the handball competition as well as modern pentathlon fencing and goalball during the Paralympic Games. After the Olympics, the sustainable arena will become a multi-sports venue with retractable seating for around 6,000 spectators and flexible facilities catering for training and competition for all levels of indoor sport.

 

One of the last structures to get underway, the temporary Water Polo Arena is adjacent to the Aquatics Centre and designed to be dismantled after the Games. Steelwork is currently being supplied by Caunton Engineering for the asymmetric venue which will be wrapped in a silver rippling roof made of air inflated recycled pvc cushions.

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