The former Olympic Stadium took a huge step towards becoming the new home of West Ham United FC, as the first roof panel was lifted into place. When finished, it will be the longest cantilevered roof in the world; 45,000sqm in size, and 84m at its deepest point.
In order to preserve some of the Olympic Stadium’s identity, the iconic triangular lighting towers that used to stand over the old roof have been inverted and will now hang underneath the new larger roof.
Populous Principal Architect, Mark Craine, described how the roof has also been designed to improve acoustics and heighten the spectator experience:
This new roof design will create a much more focused noise and atmosphere in the seating bowl because it’s a solid roof. What this means is that it will focus and reflect all of the noise between the tier and the roof to really accentuate the crowd noise, particularly from the upper tier and project it forward towards the pitch and field of play.
The noise that will be created should be quite dramatic. We always intended the seating bowl to be a very intimate space, and it was for the Olympics, even with a fabric roof design. But now that the rear part of the roof is designed as a solid surface the noise will be accentuated far more than it previously was.
Populous’ first-team trio of Mark Noble, Andy Carroll and Adrian, recently visited the new Stadium site to see the transformation work for themselves, and they were hugely impressed by what they saw. Noble said:
To see the roof, the size that it’s going to be – I’m told it’s going to be the biggest in the world by square footage – it’s quite incredible. It’s going to be amazing when it’s done.
I’ve been here every step of the way and it looks incredible to see the work that’s being done. It’s an amazing Stadium and it’s only two years away, so it’s something to look forward to. The boys are buzzing about it.
Work on the stadium will be completed in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, with West Ham moving into their new home in 2016.
Original story reported on www.olympicstadium.whufc.com
The Stadium Design
The Club will work closely with the E20 partnership on the developments that will see the Olympic Stadium upgraded to a 54,000 all-seater UEFA category 4 soccer stadium – the highest category of football stadium possible in the world.
Developments will include the installation of an innovative retractable seating solution on all four sides of the ground bringing fans closer to the action and the atmospheric, transparent roof that, at 84m, will become the largest-spanning tensile roof in the world.
The ambitious proposals also include first-class hospitality suites, the relocation inside the turnstile line of key facilities such as the concessions and toilets (as at other traditional football stadia), landscaping and a distinctive new building that is set to become the Hammers’ exclusive Ticket Office and flagship Club Store. The presence of these buildings will ensure that supporters continue to enjoy their direct relationship with the Club in new and enhanced facilities in the surrounds of the stunning Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Images courtesy: West Ham United FC