The O2 remains unrepaired following recent storm damage, but it's already reopened.
A visit on 23 February — five days after Storm Eunice ripped a large hole in the North Greenwich venue's northern edge — revealed that all six damaged segments remain in tatters (unsurprising really, given the scale of the rupture), leaving The O2 with a fluttery rump.
But the ultimate leaky roof hasn't stopped the dome from reopening. Messages on the venue's website and around the building's perimeter all proclaimed that the site would be back in action from Friday 25 February — just one week after the devastation. It has now reopened.
Most of the venue's facilities are back in action, including the avenue of restaurants, cinema and the Up At the O2 climbing experience. Gigs have also returned, beginning with UB40's concert just one week after the storm.
The Icon shopping mall will not be reopening just yet. It lies directly beneath the missing sections and will be unlikely to open before the hole is patched.
(Incidentally, the dome is not the only building in the area to have been afflicted by the storm. Across the Thames, a development in Blackwall shows some seriously shredded white sheeting.)
We contacted The O2 for information on possible repair plans, but have not yet received a response. In the meantime, we'd like to offer a leftfield solution as to where they might source a giant piece of canvas as a temporary fix.
Remember how Michael Jackson was going to perform that huge concert residency at the Dome in 2009, which he never lived to fulfil? Well, a huge canvas drape to promote those gigs at the O2 still exists. Last we saw it, it was stored in a Vanguard warehouse out in west London. It's supposedly the largest canvas advert in the world, and was created specifically to go over The O2.
As Jacko might have sang: "Heal the Dome, make it a better place, by patching its voids with my massive face."
Images by Paige Kahn.