Address: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park | LONDON | United Kingdom
Latitude/Longitude: 51.53865, -0.01653
The Stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, commonly known as the Olympic Stadium, is a stadium in Stratford, London, England, at Marshgate Lane in the Lower Lea Valley. It was constructed to serve as the home stadium for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, hosting the track and field events and opening and closing ceremonies. The stadium is 10.5 km from Central London, and six minutes from the London St. Pancras rail station via Stratford International Highspeed rail services.
Land preparation for the stadium began in mid-2007, with the official construction start date on 22 May 2008, although piling works for the foundation began four weeks before. The stadium held its first public event in March 2012, serving as the finish line for a celebrity running event organised by the National Lottery. The stadium is being used intermittently whilst under renovation. As part of the renovation, the lower seating bowl will be replaced with a retractable seating system allowing for acceptable seating for both athletics and pitch sports. Once fully re-opened in 2016, it will have a capacity of 60,000 and will become the home of West Ham United Football Club and British Athletics.
On 13 October 2006, London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games confirmed that it had selected Sir Robert McAlpine and Populous to start exclusive negotiations with, to fulfil the eventual design and build contract of the new Olympic Stadium after no other organisations met the bidding criteria. The consortium was the team who delivered the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal F.C. The stadium design was launched on 7 November 2007. The construction of the stadium was due to start in April 2008 ahead of scheduled commencement date of August 2008. Construction of the stadium commenced three months early in May 2008 after the bowl of the stadium had been dug out and the area cleared. The building of the stadium was completed in March 2011 reportedly on time and under budget, with the athletics track laid in October 2011.
The stadium is made up of different tiers; during the Games the stadium was able to hold 80,000 spectators. The base tier, which allows for 25,000 seats, is a sunken elliptical bowl that is made up of low-carbon-dioxide concrete; this contains 40 percent less embodied carbon than conventional concrete. The foundation of the base level is 5,000 piles reaching up to 20 metres deep. From there, there is a mixture of driven cast in situ piles, continuous flight auger piles, and vibro concrete columns. The second tier, which holds 55,000 seats, is 315 metres long, 256 metres wide, and 60 metres high. The stadium contains just under a quarter of the steel as the Olympic Stadium in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics, approximately 10,700 tons. In addition to the minimal use of steel, which makes it 75 percent lighter, the stadium also uses high-yield large diameter pipes which were surplus on completion of North Sea Gas pipeline projects, recycled granite, and many of the building products were transported using trains and barges rather than by lorry.
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