Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Built for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is being transformed into a huge new urban park where Londoners will live, work and visit.

London's Olympic Park is the same size as the city's famous Hyde Park
London's Olympic Park is the same size as the city's famous Hyde Park
  • Updated: 27 February, 2015

Why is it important?

During the summer of 2012, the park was the centre of the whole world’s attention! Its 80,000 seat stadium, eight sports venues and other facilities were the stage for one of the greatest Games in history.

But it was actually designed as much for its legacy (how it could be used afterwards) as it was to host the Olympics.

One of the largest urban parks to be created in Europe for over a century is now coming to life in east London (the park is about the same size as Hyde Park). Venues have been removed or converted, like the stadium which will become the home of West Ham United Football Club. The extra space created is being turned into new parkland and 10,000 homes.

How was it built?

The Velodrome, which hosted famous wins for cyclist Chris Hoy and Paralympian Sarah Storey, is an engineering triumph. Its structure uses a lightweight cable to support its steel roof, giving crowds a perfect view of the action without any columns in the way. The design also used less material and saved £1.5m compared to other possible solutions.

As well as the iconic venues, civil engineers built new bridges and transport links. They also built an energy-efficient power station to cope with the high number of visitors to the park.

Planning and constructing these projects took six years. But they were all managed very well so everything was delivered on time and within the budget for the Games.

Anything else of interest?

About 4,000 trees were planted in the Olympic Park and 300,000 wetland plants along the Lee Valley, which runs through the site. Almost all of the waste made while building the park was reused or recycled.

Engineering the Olympic Park

If you're interested in finding out more, our video explores how civil engineers delivered this amazing feat of engineering in time to host the 2012 Olympics

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