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London 2012 Handball Arena foundations complete

The Olympic Delivery Authority yesterday announced that foundations of the London 2012 Handball Arena had been completed.

The Handball Arena Big Build started in July, two months early. Some 200 concrete columns have been drilled 25m into the ground to form the foundations with 55 pile caps and 550m of concrete ground beams.

The venue has started coming out of the ground with the lifting into place of 13 of 30 concrete walls, which are pre-fabricated in Ireland and will support the upper tiers of the seating. The 10m high walls sit on top of a 300t concrete slab.

Work is underway on the 1,000t steel frame of the Arena, which is being fabricated in Bolton. The steel frame is on track to be complete by next summer when work will also have started on the roof and external cladding, with the distinctive copper layer added later in the year

A new webcam is capturing the construction of the distinctive Arena which will include sustainable features such as 88 ceiling light pipes feeding natural light into the venue.

The Handball Arena is on track to be completed by summer 2011 ready for test events. During the Games the Arena will seat up to 7,000 spectators and host qualifying games for the Handball competition as well as Modern Pentathlon Fencing and Goalball during the Paralympic Games.  

After the Games, the sustainable Arena will become a multi-sports venue with retractable seating for around 6,000 spectators and flexible facilities catering for training and competition at all levels for indoor sports including: basketball, wheelchair basketball, boxing, handball, badminton, judo, netball, futsal and volleyball.

“We are right on track to deliver a distinctive Handball Arena that will provide a great experience for competitors and spectators during the Games and offer a new sustainable and flexible facility for local people to enjoy a wide range of sports in legacy,” said Olympic Delivery Authority chief executive David Higgins. Our new webcam enables people to watch first-hand the Arena coming out of the ground as well as the other permanent Olympic Park venues as the project enters its toughest year.”

“The Handball Arena will provide athletes the world over with a state of the art facility at Games-time and the local London community with a much needed flexible indoor sports arena in legacy,” said London 2012 Organising Committee chairman Sebastian Coe. “The new webcam will allow local residents and fans of the sport all over the world to chart the construction progress of what will be one of the great new build venues for the 2012 Games.”

The Olympic Park Legacy Company is responsible for the development, planning, management and maintenance of the Olympic Park site, including the Arena, after the Games. With the option to accommodate up to 1,500 additional seats, the Company could also offer the venue for cultural, entertainment and business events.


Handball Arena facts and figures

  • The venue features over 3,000m2 of external copper cladding, mostly recycled, to give it a distinctive appearance that will develop a rich natural colour as it ages.
  • Over 700m2 of glazing which encircles the building at concourse level will enable visitors to the Olympic Park to view sport taking place inside, and illuminating the venue when lit at night.
  • The venue also has retractable seating to create a flexible legacy space and 88 light pipes in the ceiling to allow natural light into the venue. 
  • Rainwater harvesting from the roof for toilet flushing, will help to reduce water use by 40%.
  • In legacy mode the venue will include a health and fitness club with changing facilities and a café for use by the local community.
  • In legacy mode, the venue offers a 2,743m2 field of play hosting sports including: five-a-side football, netball, boxing, basketball, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, handball and futsal.


Readers' comments (1)

  • With the ODA so concerned about the environment, carbon footprint etc. why are we shipping "30 concrete walls, which are pre-fabricated in Ireland", is there nothing closer?
    So much for keep Britain Building!

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