The Big Build - Building Olympic 2012 Stadium & Village

Building for the Olympic Village began in 2008 in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. The site of the Olympic Village is part industrial part residential, the Athlete's Village for example, has been constructed as a completely new build on what was previously a disused rail storage yard. The work has been nick named 'The Big Build' and for good reason - the workforce totals 12,365, and 10,000 tons of steel have been used in the construction of the main Stadium alone and the estimated cost for the entire Village by completion will be 12bn - 500m of which accounts for the Stadium.

In the initial stages of the build, over 800,000 tons of soil was excavated to create the bowl for the Stadium. The Stadium itself has been specially designed to have a flexible capacity - for the Games the total capacity of the venue will be 80,000, but removable upper tiers will reduce this to 25,000 after the Games are over. At its maximum capacity the Olympic Stadium will be the third largest in Britain, topped only by Wembley Stadium and Twickenham Stadium.

At the site of the Athlete's Village, a large amount of demolition and decontamination was needed to level the area for the build. The entire site had to be specially plumbed into the water mains and will be powered by an onsite power station. All other venues within the village have been purpose built. The Aquatic's Centre has been designed by world famous architect Zaha Hadid, the wave-shaped roof has cost almost 100m to construct. The Basketball Arena is one of the largest purpose built arenas for any Olympic Games to date and has required 1,000 tons of steel and 20,000 tons of PVC in its construction. The Orbit stands beside the Stadium, with a viewing platform at the top (85meters high) to offer visitors a view of the entire site. At 115 meters tall, the Orbit is the highest 'Art Structure' in Britain and is visible from several miles in any direction from the Olympic Village.

There will also be a 3,000 sq meter McDonalds on site, with seating for up to 1,500 customers and employing a total of 2,000 staff. As for the last nine Olympic Games, McDonalds is the official restaurant and will be the only branded restaurant on site.

Surrounding the Village itself, improvements have been made to the general area. Sculptures of flowers have been placed in residential streets, children's play parks have been built and roads have been resurfaced. To the residents living directly beside the Olympic Village, however, some changes have been controversial as seemingly unnecessary works have caused roads to be closed and buses to be re-routed at inconvenient times of day.

After the Games, the Athlete's Village will be converted into 2,818 new homes in East London, the Olympic Stadium will remain in public ownership and the Aquatics Centre will be transformed into a public facility for schools and the general public to use.