London Architecture
The O2
Also known as
The O2 Arena
Formerly known as The Millennium Dome
Millennium Way
Greenwich, England SE10
Basic Information
Designed by Richard Rogers
Cost £789,000,000
Type Entertainment Venue
Maximum height 311 feet/93 meters
Maximum diameter 1,198 feet/359 meters
Neighborhood: Greenwich
More Information
  • The fabric of the dome is designed to last 25 years.
  • Each support pylon weighs 500 tons.
  • From above, the dome and its twelve support pylons resemble a clock face and hour marks. This is a nod to Greenwich Mean Time, and the fact that the dome sits on the Prime Meridian.
  • The first band to play a concert in The O2 was Bon Jovi.
  • The dome is the subject of the Mark Knopfler song Silvertown Blues.
  • This was a filming location for a 2007 episode of the television series The Amazing Race.
  • This was the subject of a 2007 episode of the television series Doctor Who.
  • June, 1996: The Greenwich Peninsula was chosen over Birmingham as the location for this project.
  • 1997: Construction began.
  • 1998: A time capsule was buried in the dome's foundation.
  • October, 1998: The New Millennium Experience Company raised a public furor when it tried to trademark the London skyline. It withdrew its application.
  • May, 1999: The London Underground North Greenwich station opened.
  • June 22, 1999: The dome's structure was completed.
  • 31 December, 1999: The Millennium Dome opened to the public.
  • 4 March, 2000: Damien Nash became the 1,000,000th dome visitor.
  • May, 2000: The Dome got a £29 million loan from the National Lottery to continue running.
  • July, 2000: An analysis by accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers concluded that the Dome was bankrupt.
  • September, 2000: The Dome got a £49 million loan from the National Lottery to continue running.
  • November, 2000: A government report slammed the dome's operators as too inexperienced to run such a massive operation, and placed the blame for the project's failure on NMEC's inability to control expenses.
  • December 31, 2000: A crowd of 37,000 people attended the dome's closing celebration which was followed by a massive 12-hour rave on the grounds of the complex. Over the last year the dome was supposed to attract 12 million visitors. It actually only brought in six million.
  • 2001: The British government tried to sell the dome. One consortium wanted to turn it into a business park.
  • December 18, 2001: Virgin Radio reported that the Millennium Dome would be turned into an entertainment and sports venue. The British government came to an agreement with a multinational group of investors called Meridian Delta to lease the structure until the year 3000.
  • May 26, 2002: BBC Radio Five reported that the British government is considering a plan to give the Millennium Dome away to a private company for free. In return, the government would get a share of the operating profits.
  • May 26, 2002: News Direct 97.3 reports the BBC Radio Five report is wrong.
  • December, 2003: The dome was temporarily used for a winter festival.
  • December, 2004: The dome was temporarily used as a homeless shelter.
  • May 31, 2005: The dome was renamed The O2. O2 agreed to pay six million pounds a year for the naming rights.
  • June 24, 2007: The dome reopened to the public after a £600 million renovation by HOK Sport + Venue + Event and Buro Happold.
  • November 7, 2008: This building was named the world's ugliest building by CNN Europe.