Silver and white PVC coated polyester structure

Written by in London 2012 Olympics

Yesterday, The Building Centre hosted a session on the use of Temporary Venues during London 2012.  We heard interesting presentations on the challenges associated with temporary venues and whether its better to redeploy or recycle post Games.

Speakers from companies such as David Morley Architects, Arup, and ES Global (to name a few) all agreed that temporary venues are essential to the modern Olympic Games.

Architen Landrell is proud that two of the most prominent temporary venues in the Olympic Park were projects we worked on: The Water Polo Venue and the temporary stadium wings on Zaha Hadids London Aquatics Centre.

Easy Up, Easy Down:

Temporary structures are a fast and effective way to create a field of play for athletes and spectators to participate. The great thing about temporary venues is that post Games, they can be easily deconstructed, removed, recycled or reused for future events or at schools all part of a legacy programme.

Growing the Aquatics Centre

A year after the Games, Architen has just this month completed the removal of the 50m tall fabric seating sections (‘wings’) that were once connected to the Aquatics Centre.  The temporary additions allowed the venue to grow from accommodating 2,500 spectators to 17,500 during Games time. The wings were wrapped in over 20,000m2 of fabric and were blended into the sleek and modern architecture of the venue. 

The fabric has now been returned to Architen Landrell’s factory in Chepstow where it is being reused for other projects.  For those of you that attended any of the We Made 2012 conference, you may have seen some of the Aquatics Centre fabric first hand.  We wrapped all of the display tables in the unique white mesh fabric. Fabric can be reused in many unique ways from table wraps, to courtyard canopies, to interior solar glare screens.    

First Ever Dedicated Water Polo Venue:

The Water Polo Venue (the first ever dedicated Water Polo venue of its kind) was another one of Architen’s temporary venues, accommodating 5,000 spectators. London 2012s Water Polo Venue was comprised of 10,500m2 Phthalate-free PVC coated polyester cushions forming the sloping roof of the structure.  The tensile fabric cushions were inflated with air handling units ensuring the structure retained its shape, while the sides of the building were comprised of a single layer of PVC.

The key requirement from the ODA was the venue would be completely dismantled post Games, with elements reused elsewhere in the UK (going back into the supply chain) and abroad. Parts of the fabric have already been deployed to Brazil for walkway canopies and other uses for schools and non profits.

Spectators commented about the venue saying it is hard to believe that a venue of this size, scale and design could be temporary but it was.  Now the space will be used as part of the longer term development plans for the Olympic Park.


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Author: Architen Landrell

For over 30 years, Architen has been at the forefront of the tensile fabric industry.

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