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Client: Buro Happold (2012)

Tensile cable and fabric walkway and central viewing platform.


Contractors ISG & Base Structures, together with engineering lead consultant Buro Happold and Tony Hogg Design completed this challenging design under immense time pressure.  Buro Happold engineered the structure and utilised Tony Hogg Design's expert detailing designers to produce CAD models and production details for the component parts: everything from the new support cables to the intricate fabric attachment details, the five tonne central viewing platform structure to the supporting steelwork elements were designed, detailed and seen through to production by Tony Hogg Design.

The 'Up at The O2' experience, features a tensile cable and fabric walkway that takes climbers on a thrilling journey over the fabric roof of The O2, the world's most successful music and entertainment venue.  It includes breath-taking views of the city from a purpose built viewing platform mounted on top of the iconic structure. The roof walk combines both architectural and engineering feats in providing an extreme visitor experience, and represents the only installation of its kind anywhere in the world.

The climbing experience begins on the south side of The O2 where ISG has constructed a staircase and glass lift connected to a platform 7.5m high. From here the fabric walkway, built by Base Structures and designed by Buro Happold and Tony Hogg Design with bblur Architects, suspends above the existing fabric structure to its apex with a lanyard cable and hand rail running the full length of the walkway. Climbers are provided with 'roof suits' and harnesses at a pre-tour induction, enabling them to be attached directly to the cable as they climb to the top. At The O2's apex, 53m above ground level, there is a 12m diameter viewing platform providing spectacular views, along with a panorama plate to direct climbers to key London landmarks. The roof walk then extends to the north side of The O2 where climbers descend to ground level. Step-free access means that anyone, including wheelchair users who enjoy the demands of climbing, can have the opportunity to experience this amazing challenge.

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