Two enormous cranes removed the final elements of the temporary seating stands this morning, revealing the original Zaha Hadid designed building.

The final trusses which formed the spine of the temporary seating stands on either side of the Aquatics Centre were removed today as part of the work to transform the former Olympic site into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Each truss weighed 172 tonnes and required two cranes weighing 800 tonnes and 750 tonnes to lift and lower the pieces to the ground.

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

“The former Olympic Park is being transformed in to a fantastic new public park. The £292million project to adapt the Park and take down the temporary venues, like the Aquatics Centre seating, is running on time and on budget. We will open the first part of the Park this summer with a series of events in the north of the Park and the Copper Box opening to the public. The rest of the Park will open in phases through to spring 2014 when the Aquatics Centre will open and people will be able to swim in those fantastic Olympic-sized pools.”

Balfour Beatty is working on the transformation of the Aquatics Centre, now the two seating stands have been removed work has started to install 3,000m² of glass along the sides of the Aquatics Centre allowing lots of natural light into the pool.

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.

The Aquatics Centre will be operated by GLL on a 10 year lease. GLL is a London-based social enterprise which means that surpluses it makes are reinvested into sport and local communities. GLL is working with British Swimming to locate an elite swimming and diving programme in the Centre alongside community use.

Going for a swim in the Aquatics Centre will be affordable, when the pool opens the price of a swim in the Olympic pools will be the same as a swim in a local leisure centre – currently around £4.30. Around 800,000 people are expected to make use of the Aquatics Centre from 2014.

The Aquatics Centre will continue to host major swimming competitions, London has bid for the 2016 European Swimming Championships and the 2014 FINA Diving Championships which it hopes to host in the Aquatics Centre.

Since taking control of the Park in November 2012, the Legacy Corporation has been undertaking a huge programme of work to transform the site and its iconic venues ready for public use.

The £292m construction programme, one of the largest in Europe, is on track to deliver Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – a new part of London to live, work, visit and invest. The Park will soon begin to re-open in phases as works reach completion, starting with the official opening of North Park in July 2013.

This will include the Copper Box, London’s third largest arena at 2,743m2 (equivalent to 12 badminton courts), and the Unity Kitchen Café at Timber Lodge, a new community space with a stunning new playground and open spaces for visitors to walk, play and enjoy.

Over the past six months, the Legacy Corporation has been getting its programme ‘Clear, Connect, Complete’ well underway to transform the Park from the Olympic event site to a new part of London. The programme is clearing Games-time overlay including temporary venues, walkways and stands, connecting the Park to the surrounding area with new roads and pathways and completing the Park’s venues and parkland to their legacy designs, ready to open its doors in full in spring 2014.

Just as the Games were delivered across 10 years from bid to closing ceremony, the delivery of legacy is a 10 year programme and the works underway now will deliver a lasting legacy for east London. Construction on the Park has already brought over a thousand jobs to the area, 44 per cent of workers are from the local area and there are 60 apprentices on site – the highest number on any London site.

In just a few months, the first families will also begin moving into 2,818 homes, including 1,379 affordable homes on the site of the Athletes’ Village, to be known as East Village. Chobham Academy will also open this September, with a further three schools planned to be built on the Park over the coming years.

The Legacy Corporation is celebrating the phased re-opening of the Park from July 2013 to spring 2014 with a programme of summer entertainment and events, bringing world-class sport and international artists back to the iconic venues. The summer line up will give local residents and visitors an opportunity to experience what the park will have to offer when it opens in full in spring 2014.

Aquatics Centre Facts

  • 2 x 50 metre Olympic-sized swimming pools
  • 1 x 25 metre Olympic-sized diving pool
  • The pools contain 10 million litres of water
  • Fitness training facilities and dry dive area with trampolines for dive practice
  • 17,500 seats for Games-time removed
  • 2,500 seating capacity in legacy
  • 370 people working on the Aquatics Centre transformation
  • The 3,000 tonne wave-like roof is 160 metres long and up to 80 metres wide and made entirely from recycled aluminium.
  • The roof’s unique design means it sits on only three concrete supports – two northern supports and a southern wall.

The Summer Events Series includes:

Hard Rock Calling

On 29 and 30 June 2013 two of the world’s biggest acts will get ready to rock with thousands of visitors at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Kasabian will make their UK festival exclusive headlining Saturday 29 June, while Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band will return to finish what they started on Sunday 30 June 2013. Paul Weller, Miles Kane, Kodaline, The Black Crowes, Alabama Shakes, The Cribs, Klaxons and Tribes are all confirmed in what is set to be one of the biggest Hard Rock Callings to date.

The Summer Stampede

Mumford & Sons will play their biggest headline show to date in association with Gentlemen of the Road. The band will headline the outdoor event, ‘The Summer Stampede’ on 6 July 2013, backed by an outstanding hand-picked line-up featuring Vampire Weekend, Ben Howard, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, HAIM, and Bear’s Den.

Yahoo! Wireless Festival

On 12-14 July 2013 Jay Z and Justin Timberlake will headline the Yahoo! Wireless festival, performing a preview of their North American Legends of the Summer tour for another three days of world-class music on the Park.

Electric Daisy Carnival

The world-famous electronic music event will be heading to London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday 20 July 2013 featuring some of electronic music’s biggest and most globally recognised talent, including headliners Tiësto and AVICII, as well as Steve Angello, Alesso, Hardwell, Madeon and many more, across one main stage and three arenas.

Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will host three days of world-class athletics action from 26 to 28 July 2013, on the anniversary of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. The Stadium will host the IAAF Diamond League action on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, featuring the return of many Olympic champions, with a third day of action on the Sunday dedicated to showcasing the Paralympic champions of 2012. Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt is among 29 other Olympic medallists, including 12 champions and four world record holders, who have so far been confirmed.

Open East Festival

The north of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be filled with the sights, sounds and flavours of east London at a celebratory weekend to mark the anniversary of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games. Working in partnership with the Barbican and east London arts venture Create London, the Park will be hosting East a weekend of music, food, art and theatre inspired by east London on 27 and 28 July 2013.

Prudential RideLondon

An annual two-day festival of cycling – developed by the Mayor of London and his agencies, Prudential RideLondon will be a world-class festival of cycling taking place over the weekend of Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 August 2013. The first day of the festival will involve a family fun ride for up to 70,000 cyclists on an eight mile loop of closed roads around the iconic landmarks in central London. The following day up to 35,000 amateur, club and world-class elite cyclists will tackle a 100 mile course that will begin in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and be based on much of the same route of the 2012 Games cycle road race, incorporating the scenic county of Surrey.


LolliBop. The Big Bash for Little People, is returning for 2013 to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London – and will take place on August 16-18. Lollibop includes some of the biggest names in kids entertainment, with live music and performances from stars of stage and screen, a live theatre tent, kitchen and much more.

Annual Festival of Disability Sport

The first Annual Festival of Disability Sport will be held on the Park on 7 September 2013.