Olympic Stadium

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Architect: Populous, UK 
Location: London, UK 

As the host for the central activities of the Games—the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the track and field competitions—the Olympic Stadium is the largest new venue to be built in London.

The contrasting white steel members of the stadium represent an independent structural system that supports the venue’s roof system. The roof system covers two-thirds of the spectator seating with a 25,500-square-meter canopy of white PVC-coated polyester fabric. The canopy is supported by steel cables drawn tight between an outer steel compression truss and an inner steel tension ring to create a rigid structure. The architects succeeded in large part by reducing the materials used and making it one of the lightest stadia of the modern era. They accomplished this by using lightweight tension structure technology to minimize the weight of the structure, which, in turn, minimized fabrication time and allowed for rapid construction and later dismantling.

The efficiency of the design allows the embodied energy within the structure and fabric roof to be kept to an absolute minimum, and therefore making it one of the most significant environmentally sustainable aspects of the stadium design.”

Technical info: PVC-coated polyester, Serge Ferrari
Picture credits: Courtesy Populous, ODA