London 2012 Handball Arena

Make won the initial competition to design the Handball Arena for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2007, and construction is now complete on the highly sustainable and flexible venue.As its purpose will change in legacy mode, the space has been designed to be fully adaptable. During the Olympic Games the venue will accommodate up to 7,000 spectators and host the handball competition and the modern pentathlon, while the goalball competition will take place there during the Paralympics.Post-Games, the building will convert into a multi-sports community venue capable of seating up to 6,000 and offering a diverse range of indoor activities including basketball,  badminton, boxing, martial arts, netball, table tennis, wheelchair rugby and volleyball. The arena will also include a health and fitness club and cafe for use by the local residents. The form of the arena is a simple structural box housing the 2,750m² field of play which is surrounded by a vibrant, multi-coloured interior and a flexible system of retractable seating. Visitors will be able to enter the arena via a glazed concourse level that encircles the building, offering views of the activity taking place within and illuminating the venue at night. A 13,700m² back-of-house area includes extensive catering, security and media facilities. The facade is clad in 3,000m² of sustainably-sourced copper, combining efficiency and performance with a distinctive appearance which will develop a rich natural patina as it ages. 88 light-pipes are incorporated in the roof, drawing natural light into the venue with the aim of achieving annual energy savings of up to 40 per cent. A rainwater harvesting system will collect water from the roof, dramatically reducing usage.

Description by the architects.


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Building Activity

  • Rosen Zahariev
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