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PREFAB FRIDAY: The Collapsible, Flatpacked Olympic Stadium
Any sustainable minded surveyor of large scale events wonders if the expense and waste associated with showpiece stadiums could be reduced, even just a little. Well, the organizers of the London Olympics have a remarkable plan that could offset construction costs, and be sure that their stadium finds a purposeful second life. Currently there are plans in place to dismantle around 70% of the proposed London Olympic Stadium, pack up the components, and send them to the host of the 2016 Olympics! Finally, flatpacked, prefab stadiums!
The concept is part of a new approach to the Olympic Games. Rather than building everything new every four years, the “prefab” stadium idea allows facilities to be built in one city, moved as efficiently as possible and be adapted to existing arenas in the new host city. In the case of London, this particular stadium was specifically designed by HOK Sport to be disassembled and sold on, preventing wasteful obsolescence. The London Olympic Stadium is effectively designed as a 25,000 seat concrete bowl that has an additional 55,000 seats placed on top of it in a temporary structure. It is this entire upper structure which can be moved and installed somewhere else.
Currently, talks are underway with Chicago, but London organizers hope that their offer is taken up by whoever wins the games. If the plan goes forward, this would be the largest amount of seats ever moved from one place to the next, and the first time in history that a stadium of this size has been moved.
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