In November 2007, the SKM/Wilkinson Eyre/KSS design team was appointed to design the Basketball Arena for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. A key challenge of the project was to create a temporary building which would not only be simple to erect and sustainable in terms of its legacy once the Games are over, but which will provide a world-class sporting venue for some of the most popular Olympic events.
The design, which received planning permission in March 2009, is such that two-thirds of the materials and elements within the building can be reused or recycled after the Games. As one of the three key venues on the site, the building will be home to the basketball competition, the handball finals, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and will be a holding area for athletes during the opening and closing ceremonies.
During the Olympic Games the arena will have 12,000 seats for the basketball and handball competitions, reducing to a capacity of 10,000 for wheelchair basketball and rugby during the Paralympic Games. Building work on the arena will finish in time for test events before the Games.