Olympic Stadium design journey

Design journeys
Olympic Stadium
Inspired by Design
© Get Set
© Populous
The design process for a building involves many stages, including
sketching and exploring ideas. The architects of the Olympic Stadium,
Populous, went on a design journey which incorporated the Values:
inspiration, excellence and determination.
Inspired by Design
Populous took inspiration from 3 main points:
• The unique site – an island in a park which is accessed by bridges
• A temporary brief – the building has to go from 80,000 to 25,000 seats
• The desire to create a great atmosphere – a festival for the 2012 Games
Inspired by Design
© Populous
The resulting design incorporates:
• The seating bowl
(permanent seating)
• Additional temporary seating
• A fabric wrap
• The roof (a tension ring like
a bicycle wheel)
• Lighting rigs
• External pods, to provide services
such as food stalls
Inspired by Design
© Populous
Populous worked hard as a team, and
with other construction professionals,
to achieve a flexible, light and elegant
The seating bowl is compact and brings
spectators close to the event action.
The whole building is linked by
demountable connections.
Models helped to show various
elements of the design, including
the track.
Inspired by Design
© Morley von Sternberg
Working with engineers and other
consultants, the architects achieved
design excellence:
• In the creation of 14 special lighting towers
– these illuminate the field but don’t cause
glare for the spectators.
• In sustainability measures – by minimising
the physical weight and embodied energy
of each component.
The building is 37m high and is much smaller
than the Beijing National Stadium at 62m,
using less steel and concrete.
Inspired by Design
The design team also demonstrated
determination when:
Testing technical conditions –
they had to ensure the open roof wouldn’t
allow too much wind into the stadium,
thereby disqualifying records.
Real and computer simulated wind tests
were carried out to establish the roof cover
needed to protect the track.
Inspired by Design
© Populous
© Morley von Sternberg
To complete the building the architects have incorporated other design
features – such as colour in the interior and a fabric ‘wrap’ for the building.
This will help to create a carnival atmosphere for visitors at the 2012 Games.
Inspired by Design
Further information about the Olympic Stadium
Get Set Construction Kit:
BBC article:
Populous film clip:
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