A Grandstand Finish for the Eton Dorney VIP Area

London 2012 Olympic Games 

Dorney Lake, possibly one of the finest flat-water venues in the world, was to play host to a full schedule of events during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Going by the name Eton Dorney, as an homage to its foundation by Eton College for the Games, the stage was all but set for Olympic success. All that was left was building accommodation fit for the prestige of the event.

“The standard of workmanship and pride in doing a good job was reflected in the phrase "this is the Rolls Royce" when walking through the lounge being used by LOCOG directors, numerous VIP's and dignitaries.” 


The gaze of the world was going to be on London, so presentation was critical to the success of the event. While most people would be viewing the Games through their TV set, some would be lucky enough to experience the action live from the grandstands. The Olympic officials and VIPs, representatives from the world media, and most importantly; the athletes and their families all needed somewhere to view the action on the lake away from the elements and with a modicum of privacy.

Our challenge was to build a world class structure fit for global VIPs within a pre-constructed grandstand - without damaging or fixing to it in any way. 

“I found the approach from your entire team at all levels refreshingly honest and reliable and the dialogue enabled a challenging piece of work to be a huge success.” 


We are strong believers in the old adage that “to fail to prepare is to prepare to fail”. With this in mind, our team joined forces with LOCOG to plan the project  over a year before the event began, offering technical expertise to the LOCOG Committee on the layout and design of the 880m2 area. The final space included a kitchen, 2 dining rooms, 9 offices and various other amenities that would later come together to be referred to as the “Rolls Royce” standard in VIP entertainment areas.

At the heart of what we, and LOCOG, wanted to achieve was not only a breath taking solution, but a fully sustainable one as well. With the design finalised, we began to build a platform that was not only strong, but in no way relied upon the pre-existing grandstand structure for support. With LOCOG’s strict sustainability targets in mind, we ensured only reusable or recyclable materials were utilised in the build. 

As an added measure for the comfort of the guests, we designed and created the structure in a ‘double box’ format. Through clever use of studwork and plasterboard, we were able to maintain a separation between the outer and the inner walls of the structure, efficiently and discreetly managing any possible impacts of the famously unreliable British weather on the accommodation.


  • A fully sustainable solution comprising of flooring, walling, ceilings, lighting, electrical sockets, air-conditioning, sanitary ware, fire protection, data containment, carpets, kitchen extraction and ventilation.
  • Over 95% of the materials used were either reused or recycled once the event was over – fulfilling and exceeding our own and LOCOG’s strict sustainability targets.
  • A beautiful structure that put LOCOG, and London as a whole, on the map as one of the best locations on the planet to the travelling VIPs.
The event was referred to as the "best Olympic regatta ever" by the president of the rowing federation and the facility you provided was no small part of that.
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