CIBSE YEN London - West Ham Stadium Tour
CIBSE YEN London at West Ham Stadium - 22nd October 2014
Reviewed By Alex Logan (YEN London Secretary)
On a sunny day in October YEN London were given the opportunity to go on a tour of Olympic Stadium. The stadium is currently being converted to a multi sports venue which will be ready to host the Rugby World Cup in August 2015 before becoming the home of West Ham Football Club and British Athletics in 2016.
Original the stadium was designed to be converted to a 20,000 seater athletics stadium. However in 2009, the legacy agenda changed so that the stadium would host other sports such as football, rugby and cricket. As part of the works to modify the stadium into a multi-sport venue the following major works are currently being undertaken:
Replace the lower seating with a retractable seating system suitable for both Athletics and pitch sports
Strengthen the structure to allow it to support the new roof
Halo lighting with different settings for the various events
Upgrade of hospitality areas
To allow all-weather protection for sports spectators and improved acoustics for concerts, the roof had to be modified and extended. Once finished the roof will be twice the size of the original roof and the largest-spanning tensile roof in the world. To support the new roof, which is 3 to 4 times heavier, the structure and the foundations had to be strengthened.
The lighting was also another major design consideration as the lighting had to be flexible to allow for the different light settings required for the different sports. To minimise work on site, the halo lights are integrated with the structure.
There are also many changes to the hospitality areas inside the stadium as well. Football matches have a higher percentage of males compared to athletics events and concerts. To cope with the changes of demand additional toilets are been added. Pods for food, drink and merchandise concessions are also being created.
Overall the project has been challenging due to the different stakeholders involved, but once reopened this iconic building will again host world class athletics, sporting and cultural events.