Reputedly the largest temporary venue to be built for any Olympics, construction of this white PVC tent was started in October 2009 and completed within its £42million budget last June, making it one of the quickest to be built.
The arena, which is as tall as the Tate Modern gallery at 35 metres and longer than a football pitch at 115m, could later be used elsewhere, since there is a plan to recycle two-thirds of it for use in other parts of the UK and abroad.
The venue’s exterior is covered by a recyclable PVC fabric that will act as a canvas for spectacular lighting displays during the Games, much like Munich’s Allianz Arena which was used as a host venue during the 2006 World Cup. The arena’s interior aesthetics are sure to please basketball aficionados with an orange and black colour scheme to the arena’s seats representing the colour of a basketball.
However, organisers face a race against the clock themselves during the Games, as the arena has to switch from a basketball venue to one suitable for handball inside 22 hours. This will principally involve replacing the basketball posts with handball goals and basketball court with a handball pitch.
A heavy schedule of events right through the Games means that the Basketball Arena is to be one of the busiest venues at London 2012, with some of the biggest names from the NBA set to grace the temporary arena.
From an environmental perspective planners have saved on resources by building shared catering, security, waste management and media facilities for the Velodrome and the nearby BMX Track.
Public facilities: There will be a range of refreshments to buy inside the Basketball Arena, with recycling points easily accessible in order to help visitors contribute to London 2012's zero-waste goal. There are also baby changing facilities, the Games Mobility services and a London 2012 Shop on site. Some facilities are shared with the Velodrome and BMX track to make the best use of space and resources in the area.
History: Another new venue, built in a two-year period from 2009 to 2011, the venue is to be dismantled once the London 2012 Games reach their conclusion. The main frame of the structure was rapidly constructed in a three month period in the spring of 2010.
What’s on?: Basketball (July 28-August 7), handball (August 8-12).
How do you get there?: The Olympic Park can be reached by rail, underground, Docklands Light Railway, bus or coach. National Rail, London Underground and DLR all serve Stratford station to the east of the park and West Ham station to the south, while Transport for London has bus stops in the area and there will be coaches direct to the park.
Find it on the map: here
Location – in relation to other venues: Olympic Park, Stratford, East London, a short walk from the main Olympic Stadium.
Location – in Olympic park: The arena is located in the north of Olympic Park, next to the Velodrome.
Location – on the tube: Closest underground stations are Stratford (Jubilee and Central lines - around 15-minute walk) or West Ham (District and Hammersmith & City lines – around 25-minute walk).