London Olympic stadium design unveiled

The design for the 2012 Olympic stadium, based on a sunken bowl, was unveiled today.

Olympic organising committee chairman Lord Coe described it as a "stadium for a completely new era that will be inspiring and have a lasting legacy".

It has 25,000 permanent seats sunken into the bottom, with a layer of 55,000 temporary seats above and a roof that will cover two-thirds of all spectators.

Outside the stadium will be pods filled with facilities for spectators, such as food stalls.

Key to the design of the £496 million venue in Stratford, east London, is that it must shrink from an 80,000-seat capacity venue during the Games to one of 25,000 seats afterwards.

It will then become a multipurpose venue used for athletics and other sporting and community events, but no anchor tenant has yet been found.

Original cost estimates did not include VAT and inflation.

John Armitt, chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, said: "Nearly £500 million is a lot of money in anyone's terms but it is the budget and we are determined to work within that.

"If there is a requirement for any extra, we have a contingency within the scheme covering this as a whole and we will use some of that, but that is not the plan."

The stadium build is being led by construction firm Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd in a partnership including architect HoK Sport and consulting engineer Buro Happold.

Building work is set to begin up to three months ahead of schedule in April or May, with completion in 2011 to allow for test events.

The venue is being built on land dubbed by the designers as Stadium Island, as three sides of it are surrounded by water.

The Olympic Flame will probably be on the northern end of the Island and outside the stadium, but talks are still under way about its final siting.

Most of the stadium building will have a shelf life of one or two years, so the designers have created a fabric wrap around it using graphic colours, mosaics and Olympic-related images that can change.

Talks have begun with a firm which can turn this fabric into bags which can be sold after the Games. The temporary seats are also set to be sold.

With the eyes of the world on London in 2012, getting the stadium wrong is something the organisers cannot afford. They have been keenly aware of criticism that it could turn into a white elephant and get little use after the games.

Finding a post-games tenant is important. West Ham were tipped as a possible, but the idea of them or any other Premiership club moving in has now been ruled out.

London mayor Ken Livingstone said: "It is really inconceivable that anyone would have signed up to occupy a stadium before they could see it.

"Now that we have this design, I think we will move very rapidly on negotiations for people to come in and sign up for the ongoing legacy use."

He said the stadium design "must be the most environmentally sustainable stadium ever constructed anywhere on the face of the planet".

But one black mark against the grand unveiling in the Olympic Park was that invited guests using the Jubilee Tube line, which serves the venue, were held up because of long signalling delays.

Mr Livingstone explained that a new signalling system has been ordered, and pledged that the Jubilee line signalling system will have "a good two years of practice" having to cope with the crowds for the Olympics.

Details of the transition for the stadium after the Games are to be announced in the next few months.

Rod Sheard, senior principal at Team Stadium, which is leading the stadium construction, said that "as many of the 25,000 seats, if not all" will be covered.

Asked if the temporary design had increased costs, he said: "These are expensive buildings - it's true.

"Whether it is more expensive to build than a permanent... it probably would be, but there are benefits which are huge."

Mr Armitt added: "It would be very different, very traditional and be nowhere near as exciting (without the temporary element).

"Today we have three solutions - a solution for the Games, a solution for legacy and a kit of parts which allows us the opportunity to do something else for the UK. So essentially, you get three for the price of one."

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said this complements the other stadiums in London - Wembley, Emirates and Twickenham - and speaks very directly to the International Olympic Committee for a new kind of Olympic development, one that focuses very much on legacy and long-term sustainability."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee