Fabric clad spectator stands

Written by on 17th June 2014 in Materials , Temporary Structures

Two years ago we were putting the finishing touches on the one of the most recognised venues in the new Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the London Aquatics Centre. Through the financial support of Sport England, today, this venue has been transferred into a world class public swimming pool.

Fabric Wings:

To get ready for London 2012, Architen Landrell expanded Zaha Hadid’s wave shaped venue by designing, manufacturing, engineering and installing two temporary canopies composing 25,000 sqm of fabric for the walls and roof. The fabric ‘wings’ (as they were known) allowed the venue to grow from a capacity of 2,500 seats to 17,500.

Breaking Down the Structure:

After the Paralympics, we started a nine week dismantling process, removing all of the fabric and returning the venue to its original shape and size for legacy mode.

A team of nine men and women (who were rope access certified) had the challenge of removing the fabric panels. Wall panels measured 20m x 6m and roof panels measured 40m x 7m. Taking down fabric was as complicated as installing it. Wind is always an important factor. When winds are greater than 15 mph, work is restricted  which delays the project.

Once the fabric was completely off the frame it was packed and ready for collection.

So what happened to all of the fabric?

Through our French fabric supplier’s patented recycling process, known as Texyloop, Serge Ferrari took back all 25,000 sqm of fabric and turned it into 23 T. of 2nd generation raw materials. The Texyloop process involved separating the polyester fibres from the PVC coating so that the materials can be fully recycled. The recycled materials were used to create new architectural building materials such as keder and membrane.

Fabric & Temporary Venues:

Temporary buildings were a key strategy for London 2012 as was having components that could be reused and recycled. This model of using architectural membranes to create temporary venues works well, with minimal enviornmental impact.  The London Aquatics Centre is the perfect case study for how to use fabric to create temporary buildings for a short span of time and then reusing it for new building materials when it is no longer required.

To learn more about the Texyloop process and how materials are recycled, please contact our sales team on 01291 638200.

Project Information:

  • Fabric Manufacturer: Serge Ferrari
  • Architect: Zaha Hadid
  • Roof: Precontraint 1002 S2 Blackout NPP (Non Phthalate Plasticizers): 18,000 sqm
  • Facade: Stamiso FT 381: 7,000 sqm
  • Case Study by Architen Landrell


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Author: Amy Richardson

As Sales Manager, Amy has a wealth of experience and knowledge and is able to make recommendations on design and price jobs.

Other posts by Amy Richardson

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+44 (0) 1291 638 200

Architen Landrell, Station Road, Chepstow, NP16 5PF, UK


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