The opening of the Aquatics Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this spring won’t complete the Park’s post-Olympic transformation but it will signify the conversion of the major venues to public post-Games use.
Construction works of the completed outside of the Aquatics Centre have included removing the temporary seating stands, which held 17,500 seats for Games-time and installing 2,800m² of glass and eight doors along the sides of the centre allowing lots of natural light into the pool. The internal works and final landscaping will be completed next year ahead of the opening to the public in the spring.
The Aquatics Centre will host a range of national and international events including the FINA/NVC 2014 World Diving Series and 2016 European Swimming Championships. It will be operated by Charitable Social Enterprise, GLL. The venue will be open to the whole community and will host a variety of activities including fitness and family swim sessions, swimming and diving lessons, inclusive community sessions as well as a 40 station gym. Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of London Legacy Development Corporation, said:
The newly Aquatics Centre is a truly stunning venue that will continue to have a place in the public’s heart when it opens in spring. Elite sports will sit alongside community sports to provide a lasting legacy on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Aquatics Centre Facts
- ODA cost of build £251million
- Used in Games-time for Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Modern Pentathlon, Paralympic Swimming
- The three pools contain 10 million litres of water and are lined with 180,000 tiles.
- There are almost 600,000 tiles in the whole building. Paralympic swimmer Liz Johnson laid the last tile in April 2011
- Construction on the venue began in July 2008 and was completed for the Games in July 2011.
- The Aquatics Centre’s spectacular wave-like roof is 160m long and up to 80m wide – giving it a longer single span than Heathrow Terminal 5. It rests on just three concrete supports
- The building is 45m high
- The aluminum roof has a 50 per cent recycled content
- The Aquatics Centre uses 32 per cent less potable (drinking) water compared to other pools. This is achieved by using low flow fittings and recycling water
- Aquatics Glass Facts
- There are 628 panes of glass in total – 314 panes each side
- The panes of glass are 1500mm x 3000mm with a few larger / smaller
- In total, the glass covers 2,800m²
- The standard weight is 250kg. The heaviest piece is 377kg. The total weight of the glass is 148,470kg or 74.235kg each side.
- It took 70 days to put the glass in – 35 days per side
- It took a team of six to install each pane
- 10 panes of glass were installed each working day
- The glass was manufactured in Leon, North West Spain and was installed by Austrian company Seele
- The glass has a screen printed dot matrix pattern which varies in size and pattern over the elevation to help control daylight levels and restrict potential glare.
- The glass will be cleaned by window cleaners, using cherry pickers to reach the high bits
- The steel framework will have hot water running through it which means it acts like a giant radiator to prevent condensation forming on the glass.