London 2012 Summer Olympic Stadium

The image above was taken during the 2012 Olympics

The images above and below were taken during the 2013 Anniversary games

Date Built
Olympic Park, Stratford, London

The architects of the London Olympic Stadium have been responsible for the design of many of the major sports stadia and arenas around the world.  Their work in the UK includes the new Ascot Grandstand, the Manchester Velodrome and Emirates Stadium.  With legacy and sustainability as major aspects of the brief, the London Olympic Stadium was designed to accommodate 80,000 people during the 2012 Olympics but afterwards to be reconfigured to a more realistic ongoing capacity of 25,000.  This was achieved by adding a dismountable lightweight steel and concrete upper tier to the permanent seating at the lower level. 

The exterior of the stadium will be completed when it is swathed in a £7million fabric wrap.  The sponsorship of that wrap has been hugely controversial.  Despite concerns about the British summer weather the stadium will only have a partial roof which is made of pvc.

Inside the stadium the seating will be black and white picked out in a shard-like design that somewhat mirrors the 14 triangular lighting towers.  There are others colours within the stadium.  As the BBC website puts it, "They form a 'colour wheel' in shades of pink, blue, green and orange that change throughout the stadium as they are picked out in paintwork, glass around the stairs and the fabric wrap on the outside." 

The stadium will be the venue for athletics during the games but the plan is that afterwards it will become the home of one or more sporting organizations.  A football team has always been considered to be the most likely candidate but this hasn't proved to be the easiest decision.  The legacy goal of retaining the running track has proved to be contentious when football teams want their fans to be closer to the action than is possible with a running track around the pitch.

The Populous website sums up the philosophy behind the stadium this way, "Perhaps it’s best to describe the stadium as an emblem - for London 2012, for its sustainability agenda and, in many ways, for the austerity which is not only part of that agenda but also a philosophical commitment and benchmark for the project team."

The stadium before it was wrapped.