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Olympics Aquatic Centre gets its wings clipped

24 May 2013

The form of  Zaha Hadid’s Aquatics Centre has been revealed for the first time after its temporary seating ‘wings’ were taken down by two enormous cranes.

The final trusses which formed the spine of the temporary seating stands on either side of the Aquatics Centre were removed this week as part of the work to transform the former Olympics site into the 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.

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

Dennis Hone, chief executive, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said: “The former Olympic Park is being transformed in to a fantastic new public park. The £292m 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.”

When the Aquatics Centre opens in spring 2014 it will also 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.

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