The papier mache Olympic stadium that changes colour

Last updated at 13:02 27 June 2007


London's Olympic stadium will be multicoloured - and may even be made out of papier maché.

After unveiling the unconventional Games logo, Olympics chiefs have told architects to produce a radical look for 2012's centrepiece venue.

Designers have been encouraged to "think temporary" as the 80,000-capacity venue will be shrunk to 25,000 after the Games.

olympic stadium

Coated papier maché or a weather-resistant fabric - both more flexible than traditional building materials - could be used for much of the exterior since this will only have to last for around 12 months.

A traditional off-white facade has been ruled out by the Team McAlpine designers, who are expected to choose from the bright pink, blue and yellow colour scheme adopted for the logo.

In keeping with Olympic chiefs' pledge of "daring to be different", the stadium may even take on chameleon-like properties and pulse different colours at night.

A source close to the project said: "This is not about designing a permanent structure with the ubiquitous off-white shell."

London opted for the temporary design because Games organisers considered an 80,000-seat venue was unlikely to pay its way after 2012 and could become a white elephant.

olympic stadium

The stadium's core will be a "rose bowl" that will remain as the 25,000-seat venue after the Games.

It is designed to be ideal as an athletics venue but the seating will also be able to be reconfigured for concerts.

The Olympic Delivery Authority is focussing on creating a stadium that can be used by colleges and schools and host up to 20 elite and schools athletics events per year.

The concept of flexible stadiums was pioneered by planners of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Their 10,000-seat aquatics centre was halved in capacity after the Games and the seats used for the 20,000-capacity Wollongong Stadium in New South Wales, one of the venues for the 2003 rugby World Cup.

Architects HOK, whose designs range from the new Wembley and Arsenal's Emirates stadium to the grandstand at Ascot, are finalising designs for the 2012 stadium and are expected to unveil details later this year.

olympic stadium

Team McAlpine, which built the Emirates stadium on time and on budget, is the "preferred partnerî to construct the stadium.

As the centrepiece of the Olympic Park, the stadium will host the track and field events as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. The cost of building the venue is thought to have risen to at least £400million due to inflation and rising building costs.

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