London 2012 Olympics - Aquatics Centre (2011)

Aquatics Centre unveiled as main Olympic Park venues completed on time and budget

27 July 2011

Press release text by London 2012

With exactly a year to go until the start of the London 2012 Games, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has announced that the Aquatics Centre is now complete, the last of the six main Olympic Park venues to finish construction.

The Olympic Stadium, Velodrome, Handball Arena, Basketball Arena and the International Broadcast Centre were all completed earlier this year. [...]

The Aquatics Centre is being unveiled today with British Olympic hopeful Tom Daley making the first dive into the pool this evening. [...]

Back in July 2006, the ODA set out a challenging brief to clean and clear the Olympic Park site and build the new venues and infrastructure needed in time for test events by the summer of 2011 - a year before the Games. This has now been achieved on time, to budget, with a safety record far better than the industry average, and by setting new standards in sustainability and accessible design.


Construction started on the Zaha Hadid-designed Aquatics Centre just over three years ago in June 2008 and has been completed on time and with an exemplary safety record. Over 3630 people have worked on the construction of the venue and over 370 UK businesses have won contracts including the steel for the roof from Wales, pool lights from Scotland, pumps from Bedfordshire, under-floor heating by a company from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and water testing done by a Flintshire-based business.

In total, over 40,000 people have worked on the Park since April 2008 and over 1500 direct contracts worth £6 bn have been distributed to thousands of companies across the UK.


Aquatics Centre fact-file:
> The Zaha Hadid designed Aquatics Centre is located in the south of the Olympic Park and will be the main ‘Gateway into the Games’.
> The Aquatics Centre will have a capacity of 17,500 during the Games, hosting swimming, diving, synchronised swimming, and the swimming element of the Modern Pentathlon.
> After the Games, the venue is reduced to a maximum of 2,500, with the ability to add 1,000 for major events, and provides two 50m swimming pools with moveable floors and separation booms, a diving pool and dry diving area for a full range of community and elite use.
> Before construction could begin, 11 industrial buildings were demolished and around 160,000 tonnes of soil was dug out on of what was one of the more polluted areas of the Olympic Park. Four skeletons were discovered and removed from a prehistoric settlement discovered on the site of the Aquatic Centre.
> Balfour Beatty is building the Aquatics Centre and huge land-bridge that forms the roof of the training pool and the main pedestrian access to the Olympic Park.
> The sweeping roof, which is 160m long and 90m at its widest point, is an innovative steel structure weighing over 3000 tonnes with a striking and robust aluminium covering, half of which is recycled, resting on three supports.
> Over 850,000 ceramic tiles installed in the pools, poolside and changing rooms.
> 6 unique diving boards were constructed on site: a 5m board; a 7.5m board and 3m board; a 10m board; and 3m springboards.
> All 3 pools hold a total of 10 million litres of water.
> The venue contains 9,000 tonnes of steel and the hardwood ceiling is made up of 37,000 individual strips.