Building the Games – the Basketball Arena

Today is the turn of the Basketball Arena, in the Olympic Park at Stratford, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and Sinclair Knight Merz. This one seats 12,000 happy little Olympic fans with enough space to wave their flags, their arms and anything else they fancy.

It’s a temporary arena that hosted the basketball and the closing stages of the brilliant handball (which appears to be the only game I have ever seen where pushing people over is encouraged and the only way you’d be sent off would be if you actually killed one of the opposition) and will sadly be deconstructed now the games is over (boo hoo).

It was also used as a holding area for athletes during the opening and closing ceremonies, they must have been bouncing off the walls in there last night!

Image from ShopTalk

Image from Archilovers

Image from ArchDaily

It’s quite incredible for a temporary structure, and beautifully designed inside – watching the handball in there last week we were quite high up but still had a great view of the court. There didn’t seem to be any bad seats in the house, and the atmosphere was fantastic. 

It looks solid from the pictures, and when viewed from afar elsewhere in the Olympic Park, but stepping up close and having a good old look revealed that the white billows were actually created by PVC stretched over metal frames. The designers also had to factor in that the doors had to be 2.4 metres high, just to accomodate the giants of the court who had to pass through to perform.

It seems such a shame to take it down, all that lovely energy and happiness that poured into it over the last two weeks (and will still be coming with the Paralympics), but apparently two thirds of the materials used will be recycled – so perhaps there will be quite a few places around the UK that will end up with a piece of the Olympics in their midst.


1 comment
  1. Frances said:

    I have heard a rumour that it may be on its way to Rio?

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