Photo: London 2012
The Basketball Arena in London is one of the most striking venues of the 2012 Olympics, with a completely white exterior that can be illuminated with a variety of colours from the inside.But after the Olympics, it’ll be torn down.
The 12,000-seat arena, which cost an estimated $65 million, could signal a new era of Olympic planning where host cities opt to build cheap, sustainable venues that are completely temporary.
Past Olympic host cities, like Beijing, are filled with abandoned arenas that fell out of disuse right after the games. Even the Bird’s Nest — the signature structure of the last Olympics — is now barely used.
But venues like the Basketball Arena won’t sit empty for years to come, are less expensive to build, and are (perhaps most importantly) vastly more sustainable than their predecessors.
Two-thirds of the materials used in the Basketball Arena — the biggest temporary venue of the games — are recyclable, according to the architecture firm that built it. The white facade of the building is made of 110-foot by 24-foot pieces of PVC (a type of plastic), that can be used in future temporary arenas or as raw material.
The arena also has a rock-based foundation instead of permanent support piles. So once the arena is gone there are plans to build 800 housing units on the site, according to Wired.
If the Basketball Arena (and the water polo arena, which is also temporary) is able to withstand the rigors of the Olympics, future host cities of big sporting events could replicate London’s model. A huge part of Qatar’s bid for the 2022 World Cup, for example, was the country’s insistence that it will build temporary arenas that will be exported around the world after the tournament.
If temporary venues become the norm, we’ll look back at the Basketball Arena as the large-scale stadium that popularised it.
According to Wired, the arena could possibly be sent to Rio De Janeiro to be used for the 2016 Olympics
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