AQUATICS CENTRE CAN BE SEEN CLEARLY NOW THE GLASS HAS COME

The Aquatics Centre’s permanent shape can be clearly seen as the first panes of glass were installed today.

The temporary seating stands, which held 15,000 seats for Games-time, have been removed revealing the incredible Zaha Hadid design.

Now the first of 628 panes of glass have been installed and the Centre – which will open to the public from spring 2014 – is beginning to take shape.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London and Chairman, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park said:

“With the first panes of glass expertly installed in the Aquatics Centre, we can start counting down the months to the grand opening of a world class public swimming facility next spring. The magnificent shape of the Zaha Hadid design is forming day by day and the permanent legacy this superb building will become is evident. Whilst the hard work continues, people can get a glimpse of what’s to come at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with an impressive line up of summer concerts, athletic and volunteering celebrations. It is encouraging to see we are on target to deliver legacy sites that visitors and Londoners alike will enjoy for generations to come.”

Balfour Beatty is working on the transformation of the Aquatics Centre. Now the two seating stands have been removed work has started to install 2,800m² of glass along the sides of the Aquatics Centre allowing lots of natural light into the pool.

The glass-fitting is the latest stage in the ongoing transformation of the former Olympic site into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

When the Aquatics Centre opens in spring 2014 it will have a cafe and crèche, a dry dive training area and a full programme of aquatics activities from lane swimming and lessons to aqua-aerobics, water polo and synchronised swimming.

Dennis Hone, Chief Executive, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park said:

“It will take 70 days to install the 628 panes of glass that make up the external walls of this fantastic building. Each pane weighs 200kg and it takes a team of six people to install a single pane. We expect the team to get through 10 panes a day and finish the outside of the Aquatics Centre in late September. Once complete the Aquatics Centre will be a public swimming pool as well as an elite training facility and competition venue. We are on track to deliver a fantastic new destination and a lasting legacy for east London and are looking forward to the full opening of the Park in the spring next year.”

This weekend Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will welcome thousands of music fans for Hard Rock Calling headlined by Kasabian and Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band.

The concert is one of a series of summer events which will give a taster of what people can expect to see next year.

Since last autumn, huge progress has been made removing temporary venues, improving transport connections across and into the Park, and creating beautiful parkland areas. This building and landscaping work will continue at pace to get the Park ready for next spring.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will open in phases as the construction works completes.  Parts of the North Park – including the new Timber Lodge cafe, Tumbling Bay playground and the Copper Box will open to the public at the end of July. It will be free to visit the parklands, cafe and playground.