Transformation of London Olympic Stadium Continues

The former Olympic Stadium took a huge step towards becoming the new home of West Ham United, as the first roof panel was lifted into place. When finished, it will be the longest cantilevered roof in the world; 45,000 square metres in size, and 84 metres at its deepest point.

In order to preserve some of the Olympic Stadium’s identity, the iconic triangular lighting towers that used to stand over the old roof have been inverted and will now hang underneath the new larger roof. Populous Principal Architect Mark Craine describes how the roof has also been designed to improve acoustics and heighten the spectator experience.

(L-R) West Ham players Adrian, Mark Noble, and Andy Carroll, with Populous Principal Architect Mark Craine

“This new roof design will create a much more focused noise and atmosphere in the seating bowl because it’s a solid roof.  What this means is that it will focus and reflect all of the noise between the tier and the roof to really accentuate the crowd noise, particularly from the upper tier and project it forward towards the pitch and field of play.

“The noise that will be created should be quite dramatic. We always intended the seating bowl to be a very intimate space, and it was for the Olympics, even with a fabric roof design. But now that the rear part of the roof is designed as a solid surface the noise will be accentuated far more than it previously was.”

First-team trio Mark Noble, Andy Carroll and Adrian recently visited the new Stadium site to see the transformation work for themselves, and they were hugely impressed by what they saw. Noble said:

“To see the roof, the size that it’s going to be – I’m told it’s going to be the biggest in the world by square footage – it’s quite incredible. It’s going to be amazing when it’s done.

“I’ve been here every step of the way and it looks incredible to see the work that’s being done. It’s an amazing Stadium and it’s only two years away, so it’s something to look forward to. The boys are buzzing about it.”

Work on the stadium will be completed in time for the Rugby World Cup next autumn, with West Ham moving into their new home in 2016.

Original story reported on


  1. Hi
    I’m interested in the new roof and whether when the stadium is in athletics mode it retracts or is fixed and partially covers the track and some field event facilities.

    I’ve always assumed the front section would retract but others are saying it does not. If fixed it covers most of both bends but not the straights.

    I would be very grateful if someone could give a definitive answer.

    Many thanks.

    Geoff Ward
    Athletics coach and former stadium manager

    Geoff Ward
    February 6, 2015
    • Hello Geoff,

      Sorry it has taken so long for somebody to respond to your query.

      The stadium roof is fixed and will remain in the same position for both football and athletics. The seating, however, has been designed so that it can extend over the running track when in football mode.

      I hope this answers your question.


      Ben Colley


      Ben Colley
      February 20, 2015

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