Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Tuesday, 31 March 2009 12:55 UK

Aquatic Centre's wave roof lifted

Artist's impression of the roof of the Aquatics Centre
The Aquatic Centre with wave-shaped roof is expected to be a 2012 icon

Workers have begun the process of lifting the 2,800 tonne wave-shaped roof of the 2012 Olympics Aquatics Centre in east London.

The lift is one of the "most complex" construction challenges, the Olympic Development Authority (ODA) said.

The steel structure will form the basis of the 11,000 sqm (118,400 sq ft) column-free roof.

The 17,500-seat venue with two 50m swimming pools will form the gateway to the Olympic Park in Stratford.

The venue will also have a diving pool and tower.

A 30m (98ft) steel truss weighing more than 70 tonnes is already in place on top of the southern wall and has been connected with the first sections of 15 steel trusses which will form the base of the roof.

The design of the roof is iconic and will be one of the lasting images of the London 2012 Games
Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee

The roof will finally rest on the two concrete supports and will slide into a 5m (16ft) wide wall.

David Higgins, chief executive of ODA, said: "The Aquatics Centre is on track to be a fantastic gateway to the Games and provide swimming and diving facilities in legacy that London does not currently have.

"The lift of the sweeping wave-shaped roof is one of the toughest construction and engineering challenges on the Olympic Park."

The centre's architect Zaha Hadid described the work as a "key milestone".

"The roof of the Aquatics Centre reflects the fluidity of water and will provide an inspirational legacy for all Londoners well beyond the 2012 Games."

Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee, said: "The design of the roof is iconic and will be one of the lasting images of the London 2012 Games."



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