Stadium roof starts to take shape in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

A harnessed worker dangles from the construction

A harnessed worker dangles from the construction - Credit: Archant

The Olympic Stadium made a step closer to as the first roof panel was lifted into place on Friday.

The roof's first panel is lowered into place

The roof's first panel is lowered into place - Credit: Archant

Covering every seat in the ground, almost 10,000 more panels will be fitted over the next 26 weeks to create the 45,000sqm roof – twice the size of the original.

At 84m at its deepest point, it will be the longest cantilevered roof of its type in the world, improving acoustics and the spectator experience for football matches, other sporting events and concerts.

The installation follows several weeks of preparation as eight kilometres of cable net weighing 930 tonnes was lifted and connected over a four-week period before 112 steel roof rafters – some stretching up to 38m – were lifted into place.

David Goldstone, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation said: “Installing the first roof panel represents another significant milestone in the transformation of the Stadium into a world class multi-use venue.

“The overall spectator experience, whether that’s at a football match, concert or other sporting event, will improve significantly and the Stadium will become a great addition to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which is already proving to be a top destination for world-class events of all kinds.”

Work on the roof, and brand new floodlights it will support, will be completed ahead of the five Rugby World Cup 2015 matches taking place in the Stadium.

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The venue will become the permanent home of West Ham United Football Club and the new national competition centre for UK athletics in 2016.

“This marks another significant milestone on the road to 2016, when the transformation of this magnificent Stadium will be complete and it will be ready to host its first West Ham match,” said West Ham United Vice-Chairman Karren Brady.

“The roof is just one of the superb features that will make our new home one of the greatest stadiums in world football and a fitting legacy for the venue that did Britain so proud in 2012.”