Olympics organisers accredited 21,000 media and broadcasters to report on the greatest show on earth. They were crafting the story beamed to the estimated global audience of almost five billion tuned in to London 2012.
Quite apart from keeping them safe and secure, any hint of a breach of security would have been latched upon, sending negative tales of London far and wide and damaging the city’s image and the nation’s tourist industry for years.
The London Olympics Media Centre (LOMC) was designed by architects Allies and Morrison. It is 900,000 sq ft and 275m long and cost £355 million to build on the former Hackney Wick Stadium close to the Riverbank Arena.
Main contractor Carillion asked Zaun to design, manufacture and install the 1.5km of Hi-Sec® and Multi-Fence® security fencing with the same Super6 panels as the Olympic Park perimeter. The two high-security fencing systems use a close mesh of 6mm steel vertical wires that is near impossible to scale and very hard to cut through except with power tools.
The fencing incorporated vehicle and pedestrian access points, as well as detection systems and CCTV. The Olympic Delivery Authority’s plan was to create a high-security complex of business space that would form part of the legacy to the Games, recouping much of the public investment in the construction.
The LOMC was part of Zaun’s Olympics contract, its largest ever, which included work on the perimeters to the Olympic Park and Stadium and temporary installations at venues across the country, all completed on time and within budget.
It was vital that the LOMC left nothing to chance when it came to security. The press would have milked any lapse and created a media furore that could have caused untold damage to Britain’s reputation.