Basketball Arena


The biggest and perhaps most impressive temporary building of the 2012 Games was the 12,000 seat basketball arena, located in the north-east of the Olympic Park in what is now Chobham Manor.

The designers and constructors, led by Sinclair Knight Merz together with Wilkinson Eyre and KSS design group, had to face a set of challenges as they were asked to deliver a venue capable of being dismantled and reused at other events without depriving the public of a venue worthy of the Games.

The result is an impressive arena, described as a ‘Meccano’ construction. The rippled exterior of the 1,000 tonne, 35m high and 115m long steel frame has been wrapped in 20,000square metres of recyclable white PVC, especially designed to keep the fabric in place.

From outside, the arena conveys a futuristic style while inside, the steep stands with black and orange seating suggest a lively atmosphere during the events in the arena.

"The basketball arena was cheap and quick to put up and will be easy to demount for its after-use," explained ODA director of infrastructure and utilities Simon Wright at the ‘The 2012 Games: get informed, get inspired, get involved’ event on 8 July 2011 in London.

"There was no legacy demand for such a stadium in this part of London and therefore we made it temporary and re-locatable. It’s a good example that we’ve only built when there was actual economic demand in the long run."

3,000 of the seats from the Basketball Arena were used for the new permanent hockey stadium at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre

Links to articles about the Basketball Arena: DeZeen Magazine Architects Daily