West Hall, Olympia London

The new two storey West Hall at the Olympia Exhibition Centre replaces the original 1890’s single storey extension to the Grand Hall.

The new hall not only doubles the available exhibition area but improves the quality of the space with greater headheight, higher loading and rigging capabilities and improved climate control. It has a new designated entrance which means it can operate as a stand alone venue or together with the adjacent halls to open up the whole Olympia site.

Flexibility of space is essential for exhibitions and steel columns were used on an 18×15 grid to minimize obstructions. The first floor level had to tie in with the adjacent existing Grand Hall and Olympia Two buildings. To maximize head height with the large column spacing, a 575mm deep waffled post tensioned concrete slab was selected. Alternative steel solutions would have involved 1m+ deep beams.

Part of the flexibility is to provide a high allowable event loading throughout. Articulated lorries can cross the ground floor and access the Grand Hall, and the first floor can be used by box vans from the double vehicle lifts. The first floors off it and roof have been designed to have ample rigging capacity. The deflections of the slab edges adjacent to existing building as a result of loading and long term shrinkage were accurately calculated and the movement joint carefully considered to provide a seamless transition between buildings.

The 3D Revit model prepared was vital to the client to understand how the facility would be used, how it could look and how the space could be sold. It was constructed on a congested site between the listed Grand Hall and Olympia Two buildings and the retained masonry wall to Blythe Road. The adjacent halls were kept fully operational and the work activities were tightly controlled and planned around the exhibition calendar. Counter terrorism measures have been fully incorporated into the design.

Services: Structural, Civil, Environmental, BIM & 3D Modelling

Sectors: Arts & Events