Construction work on the London 2012 Handball Arena has been completed – making it the third venue on the Olympic Park ready for the Games.

Work started on the 6,500 capacity arena in July 2009. The venue includes unique copper cladding, natural lighting shafts and multicoloured seating, of which the lower tier is retractable.

Prime Minister David Cameron was at the opening ceremony and said: "That this great venue has been completed on time and within budget is testament to the hard work, expertise and skills of the Olympic Park workforce. We are on track to stage a fantastic Olympic and Paralympic Games in London next summer."

London 2012 Handball Arena, London

The venue will host the men’s and women’s preliminary stages and the women’s quarter-finals for the Handball competition, the fencing discipline of the modern pentathlon, and goalball during the Paralympic Games.

Olympic Delivery Authority Chairman John Armitt said: "The Handball Arena milestone is another example of just how far we have come since construction started on the Olympic Park three years ago. The arena is compact, sustainably built and will provide an excellent sports and community venue for London long after the Games are over."

It has designed and built with sustainability as a priority; the copper cladding has a high recycled content, while the field of play can be naturally lit through 88 rooftop sun-pipes, achieving annual energy savings of up to 40 per cent and greater illumination than similar sized conventional lights. During television broadcasting or poor weather, the system can be switched off to allow for electrical lighting to be used.

There’s also a 40% water usage saving as it uses a rain harvesting system that feeds into toilets and other non-potable systems.

After the Olympics, the capacity will be increased to 7,500 as it becomes a multi-use venue for community use, athletic training and events. The retractable tier of lower seating will enable a variety of activities to take place inside, ranging from international competition to community sports.

Image: Courtesy of www.london2012.com

Posted on 15/05/2011