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The O2 Dome

The O2 Dome
image credits (ID:242191)

General Information

Other name(s): North Greenwich Arena
Beginning of works: 1997
Completion: 31 December 1999
Status: in use

Project Type

Structure: Cable-suspended membrane structure
Function / usage: Multipurpose hall


Location: Greenwich, London, England, United Kingdom
Part of:
Next to: North Greenwich Transportation Interchange (1998)
Coordinates: 51° 30' 10.31" N    0° 0' 11.58" E

Technical Information


membrane covered area 80 000 m²
site area 200 000 m²
dome height 50 m
masts height 100 m


membrane PTFE-coated glass-fiber fabric


23 June 1997

First piles bored.

October 1997

Masts finished

March 1998

Cables are stressed.


Built to house the Millennium Exhibition, the Dome was to provide a cover over the whole site under which the elements of the exhibition could be built later. The main component of the structure is a radial net of 72 straight tensioned cables These span 25 m from node to node and carry tensioned fabric panels. The nodes are supported by an array of cables hanging from the 100m high masts. Around the perimeter the radial cables are supported by masts and tied down to anchor points where the vertical forces are taken by tension piles and the radial forces by a compression ring beam on the ground.

Since the cables defl ect both vertically and horizontally under loads the cables are connected at each node with a detail that allows movement in both directions. This avoids the risk of fatigue at the cable terminations. The radial geometry on the spherical cap minimizes the risk of ponding under snow loading.

Source: Liddell, Ian and McCormick, Fergus (2012) Special steel structures in Steel Designers' Manual: The Steel Construction Institute, Seventh Edition (eds B. Davison and G. W. Owens), Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK


Structural engineering
Checking engineering
General contractor
Steel construction
Membrane supplier
Mechanical & electrical engineering
(role unknown)

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