December 13 - Redevelopment work on the outside of the London 2012 Aquatics Centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has been completed, it was announced today.
Since the end of last year's Olympics and Paralympics, work has been underway to redevelop the Zaha Hadid-designed venue into a facility suitable for use for further international competitions, but mainly for recreational use by the local community.
This renovation work has included removing the temporary seating stands, which held 17,500 seats for London 2012, and installing 2,800 square metres of glass, as well as eight doors, along the sides of the centre to allow more natural light into the pool.
The London Legacy Development Corporation, the body responsible for the re-development process, have released footage and photos showing workers installing the last of 628 panes of glass as it adopts what will be its permanent external shape.
Construction on the outside of the Centre is now completed although internal work and final landscaping is still required ahead of the opening to the public due to take place in the Spring.
This venue will be operated by the charitable social enterprise Greater London Legacy (GLL) and will host a range of national and international events, including the World Diving Series in 2014 and the European Swimming Championships in 2016.
The work on the Aquatics Centre marks a key aspect of the more general progress made in regenerating the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2013.
This has included removing temporary venues, improving transport connections across and into the Park, and creating additional parkland areas.
In July, the Copper Box Arena and other northern sections were opened to the public, while the Park will fully open, along with the Aquatics Centre, next Spring.
Dennis Hone, chief executive of the Legacy Company, is among those delighted with the progress that has been made in 2013.
"The newly unveiled Aquatics Centre is a truly stunning venue that will continue to have a place in the public's heart when it opens next year," he said.
"It is fantastic news that the centre will become a Diving High Performance Centre and host world-class sporting events.
"Alongside this, the centre will be open to all for the same price as the average cost at local pools.
"These elite sports will sit alongside community sports to provide a lasting legacy on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park."
Similar sentiments were expressed by GLL director Peter Bundey who said "as proud operators of the London Aquatic Centre, it is very exciting to see the venue transformed into legacy mode."
"We look forward to welcoming local communities to swim in this iconic venue which will be an important element of delivering a lasting legacy from the Games," he added.
November 2013: London 2012 Olympic Aquatics Centre to host Diving World Series event
November 2013: London 2012 Olympic Aquatics Centre to become new home for British high performance diving
October 2013: Recruitment underway for London Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park
July 2013: London wins bid to host 2016 European Swimming Championships
June 2013: London 2012's iconic Aquatic Centre gets glass faceliftetter if it had its wings clipped