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Structural Steel Design Awards 2010 / Zaha Hadid

In addition to being asked to design  Baghdad’s newest banking headquarters as we reported previously, Zaha Hadid has also been recognized at the Structural Steel Design Awards.  The awards, which are in their 42nd year, are bestowed upon those who attain excellence in both architectural and structural design with the use of steel.  Hadid’s Legacy Roof (alongside Audi West London, the Infinity Footbridge in Stockton-on-Tees, and Dublin Airport Terminal 2) was awarded for its “heroic engineering achievement”.   Working with Arup, Rowecord Engineering Ltd and Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, the team has designed an amazing structure to house the Aquatic Center for the Olympic Games in London.   When we first introduced Hadid’s Legacy Roof, we were shocked by the fluidity the 160 m long and 3,000 ton roof could convey.  Its dynamic curvaceous form is definitely a feat of engineering.     The judges noted the project’s successful use of steel commenting that the roof  ”has overcome severe program and constructional problems. A necessarily complex structure delivers the form and shape at the heart of what will become the emblematic and beautiful icon of the London 2012 Olympics.”

In Progress: Aquatic Center / Zaha Hadid

The 160m long wave shaped roof frame for Zaha Hadid’s Aquatic Center has just been lifted and lowered into place, marking one of the most complex engineering and construction challenges of the Olympic Park for the London 2012 games.   Weighing in at over 3,000 tons, the gigantic steel trusses rest on a mere three concrete supports to provide open space for the facility’s large racing and diving pools.  The roof is also designed to stretch, twist and contract in response to the effects of snow, wind and changing temperatures.

More about the construction and a video to follow.