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Video | Transforming the Olympic stadium

The former London Olympic stadium has been transformed, with capacity for 54,000 spectators and a new roof structure weighing four times the weight of its predecessor.

Contractor Balfour Beatty has transformed the stadium, which hosted track and field events during London 2012, into the home of West Ham United Football Club and UK Athletics as well as for other sporting and entertainment events.

The complex works to convert the venue in began in late 2013. Early works involved the de-construction of the old roof and the strengthening of the existing structure including the foundation, the iconic V columns and the perimeter compression truss. 

The ambitious new cantilevered roof now stands as the world’s largest weighing in at around 6,000t which is four times the weight of its predecessor. The permanent roof structure covers every seat is approximately 45,000m2. 

The main bowl of the multi-use stadium has an extra tier of seating and can accommodate 3,500 new hospitality spectators. The lowest tier of seats can now be moved nearer the field of play for pitch sports. The transformed stadium can accommodate up to 54,000 spectators for pitch sports with a concert capacity of 80,000.

Fourteen new lighting paddles are positioned beneath the new roof, each of which weighing 43t.

Four 600t capacity cranes lifted the light paddles and the other roof members into position.

The work was partially completed in early May 2015 and paused to allow the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games and the rugby world cup to be held there.

Works are due for completion in summer 2016 when the stadium is set to become the new national competition centre for UK Athletics and the home of West Ham United and in 2017 will host the IPC World Championships and IAAF World Athletics Championships.

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