Primary Substation 2012 Olympics

NORD architecture, London, 2009


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Black-brick electricity sub-station to provide power for the Olympic site, the athletes’ village and Stratford

The sub-station houses three huge transformers and associated cooling equipment, that are housed in two towers at either end of the 80 metre long structure. These towers are connected by a lower level structure that contains the shared switch room. As the eastern tower stands in a viewing corridor it is reduced in height to allow views of the Olympic Stadium from the park’s north-east corner.

The building is entirely clad in dark brick that articulates its function in three tiers. In the lower section the load-bearing brick is constructed in a simple Flemish bond. Above the layers increase in complexity and in the upper sections the brickwork allows ventilation for the transformers.

The two towers are topped with brown roofs, made from fuel ash and aggregates recycled from spent china clay works and site-reclaimed brick rubble, to create wildlife habitats, aid biodiversity and rainwater management.


  • Begun: 2007
  • Completed: 2009
  • Floor area: 1,810m2
  • Sector: Civic
  • Total cost: £8.5M
  • Address: Kings Yard, Carpenters Road, London, United Kingdom

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