London Olympic Stadium by Populous

The structure rests on a diamond-shaped island between two existing waterways.

LONDON – With just a few hours to go until the 2012 Olympic Summer Games kick off in London, take a peek at the stadium that will house the opening ceremonies tonight.

The concept has been meticulously planned to consider its structural, ecological, communicative and operational impacts. The resulting oval-shaped building can hold up to 80,000 spectators and will host the opening and closing ceremonies, plus track and field events. It can be reduced to a 25,000-seat stadium following the Games. 

Architects at Populous say simple, flexible structural forms minimized the weight and fabrication time; white steel diagonal tubes comprise the roofline, while a fabric ‘wrap’ encompasses the edge of the outer rim. The design has been specially crafted to meet offical regulations, as roofs can influence windspeeds and light glare which can effect athletes' performances. Meanwhile, steel was manufactured locally to reduce the ecological impact of transportation.

Inside, black and white seats serve as a neutral backdrop for colourful events. Over 700 rooms accomodate a variety of needs, from prayer areas to cafeterias.

The architects say their design theme was ‘embracing the temporary,’ in that they hope the stadium design will serve a purpose not only during the Games, but well into the future.

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