London Olympic Stadium: The world’s first flatpack Olympic arena
The world’s first flatpack Olympic arena has been built for the 2013 London Olympics.
“Athletics can’t normally justify the sort of scale of arena built for the Olympics. To make the games greener and less wasteful, the concept developed into the world’s first Olympic stadium that’s been built to be taken apart afterwards,” said Rod Sheard, the Australian architect behind the design for the world’s first flatpack Olympic arena, London Olympic Stadium, states.
He notes that the stadium fulfils the host city’s promise to deliver an eco-friendly Olympic Games. “This is one of the most compact stadiums of its kind, and it’s designed to give spectators the most intimate, ringside view of the games ever,” he adds.
Resembling an upturned crown, the London Olympic Stadium is lighter and tighter than any previous Olympic stadium. By day the venue will host track and field events while, at night, it will become a stage for London’s opening and closing ceremonies.
To achieve the team’s design goal and meet the strict opening night deadline required the concurrent design and building of the stadium. While permits were being passed for future sections, the groundwork was being laid for base construction. Putting the world’s most flexible sporting arena together, however, proved more difficult than simply assembling a meccano set.
Faced with Britain’s coldest winter in 30 years, extreme engineering and a global financial crisis, developers met the harsh reality of their undertaking by changing tack several times during construction and scaling back plans for the stadium’s visually stunning wrap, originally designed as an animated screen.
Transforming derelict land – potentially concealing unexploded bombs from WWII – riddled with toxic waste into a fresh, vibrant site fit to host the world’s fastest track and field athletes also came at no small expense, with costs doubling over the project’s lifespan during uncertain economic times.
Sheard reveals how the world’s first flatpack Olympic arena cames to life in London Olympic Stadium, which is premiering in Australia on National Geographic Channel on Tuesday 12 June at 7:30 pm AEST. London Olympic Stadium lays bare the journey developers faced in bringing the ambitious and revolutionary, 80,000 seat stadium to life and reveals the inner workings of the game-changing venue.