Olympic Leaf Wall - Hydraulic Dampener Assemblies

As part of the development of East London for the 2012 Olympics, SCX Special Projects installed a solution to ‘dampen’ the Stratford Shoal, so named because of its resemblance to swimming fish.

The 250m wall of opalescent titanium leaf shapes was specially designed by London architects Studio Egret West to enliven the area between two shopping centres adjacent to the Olympic Park; Westfield and Stratford.

SCX Special Projects provided the means to make the leaves sway in a controlled motion, utilising the power of the wind.

The Stratford Shoal outside the Stratford Centre

The 73 leaves are mounted on tree-like steel structures, created by SHS Structures, and run around the front of the Stratford Centre.  Designed to sway with the wind, with the appearance of free flowing natural movement, initially the leaves would move more erratically than desired, until SCX Special Projects stepped in to solve the problem.

One of the 146 hydraulic damper assemblies that soften the sway of the Stratford Shoal Olympic Leaf Wall

To soften the sway of the leaves, SCX Special Projects installed 146 hydraulic damper assemblies. Two dampers per leaf reduce the power of strong winds back to a pre-set maximum force, producing consistent leaf movement even in really windy conditions.

Dampeners behind the Olympic leaf wall to soften movement

Unlike other Olympic projects, the Stratford Shoal was funded by local commercial money in order to brighten up the area and therefore the image of the shopping centres ready for the influx in visitors during the Olympic Games. Although not as complex as a lot of SCX Special Projects’ other work, this project demonstrates the company’s ability to provide effective and efficient engineering solutions to a wide of scenarios.

The Olympic leaf wall, known as Stratford Shoal

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SCX Special Projects Ltd

Roman Ridge Road, Sheffield, S9 1GA, United Kingdom

t:  +44 (0)114 262 6199