The suspended roof of the Olympic Swimming Pool is being totally refurbished for the first time after 33 years. This led to the closure of the 50 metre competition pool from 1 August to 9 September 2005. Bathers can once again use the pool from 10 September onwards – two days ahead of schedule. All the same, the refurbishment of the roof is continuing under protective scaffolding. However, the diving pool will remain closed until the end of the refurbishment in January 2006.
The suspended ceiling is located about half a metre below the tent roof. This is where the builders are installing new thermal insulation called Air Management System. The completely new Air Management System transports the moisture away from the suspended ceiling, through ventilation valves and into the cavity between the ceiling and the tent roof, where the water can evaporate. This means the thermal insulation values of the Olympic Swimming Pool are significantly improved, and the new structure produces savings in terms of energy. Furthermore, the lighting scaffolds above the pool are being completely removed; the new illumination will be provided by fewer light sources in an L-shape. In future, visitors will therefore be able to desport themselves under a “tidier firmament”. What is more, the new ceiling will let more light into the Olympic Swimming Pool, thereby reestablishing the translucency of 1972.
The Olympic Swimming Pool is continuing to be used (almost) normally during the refurbishment work. The leisure sports programmes and the Olympic Sauna Paradise are unaffected by the refurbishment work and swimmers can now once again cleave their way through the waters of the 50 metre pool. Only the diving pool will remain closed until the end of the works. Although the refurbishment will continue until 2006, the construction site will then disappear behind a protective scaffold so that visitors will not be inconvenienced any further.