Built entirely within the structure of the former Millennium Dome, the spectacular O2 Arena on London’s Greenwich peninsula is one of the world’s premier venues.
A hugely flexible space, the 23,000-seat arena can accommodate everything from sporting and entertainment events to exhibitions and shows.
Wrapping around the arena is The Waterfront entertainment district which we built under a separate contract.
With conventional lifting methods ruled out because of its location within an existing structure, we faced the huge engineering challenge of building the venue’s 4,500 tonne roof on the floor and then lifting it into place.
We used 16 computer controlled strand jacks connected to substantial temporary works on top of eight new concrete cores to inch the roof up into its final position just 4m below the fabric of the existing building.
Sustainability was integral to the construction process at the O2 Arena. We used the Thames for deliveries and any waste materials were reused and recycled for use both on site and across other projects.
The ice plant for the arena made reuse of plant recovered from the nearby London Arena and, where suitable, piles from the Millennium Dome exhibit structures were reused.
We also made optimum use of local labour and businesses, reducing travel distances and fuel usage.
The project team that included Sir Robert McAlpine, architect HOK Sport and structural engineer Buro Happold all have experience of delivering major arenas. The team had worked together on the hugely successful Emirates Stadium project.
The project also benefitted from the early involvement of our supply chain. Specialist input from our acoustic roof contractor, for example, and construction of a full size working sample section ensured the roof met all acoustic requirements before it was lifted into place.
The site won a Gold Award from the Considerate Constructors Scheme in 2008. The judges said: “The site exceeded all expectations in every area. The contractor behaved faultlessly.”
The O2 Arena was named Challenging Regeneration Project of the Year and Commercial-Led Regeneration Project of the Year at the Regeneration Awards 2007.
The project has also picked up the Steelwork by Integrated Team Working award at the 40th Structural Steel Design Awards 2008 and the Best Use of IT in Construction Award at the Construction Computing Awards 2008.