London 2012 Olympics: Collapsible and Reusable

Take Part: The Olympic Games are typically associated with gargantuan, flashy (not to mention pricey) new arenas popping up all over the host city. Many, in fact, have criticized the games for being undemocratic: in the past, countries without the financial resources to support this theatricality have been deemed unfit to host.

Now, with the basketball arena unveiled last week for the 2012 Olymipcs in London, architects may have shown that this could possibly change. Designed by Sinclair Knight Merz, Wilkinson Eyre and KSS, the 12,000-seat arena is temporary, collapsible, and reusable.

At the culmination of the games, the structure can be packed up and shipped to the location of another event.

GreenPacks reports that the Olympic Deliver Authority hopes this new model will expand the number of countries that are able to benefit from the sporting event and the economic stimulus generally associated with it

The arena will host various basketball games during the 2012 Olympics, as well as Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Rugby during the Paralympic Games, according to a London 2012 Olympics press release.

The structure looks more like a circus tent than a basketball stadium, but the advantages of this lightweight facility are nothing to joke about. The Olympic Delivery Authority reports that there will only be a mere 22 hours to transform the venue from the basketball to the handball finals. And, during the Paralymic Games, there will be only 12 hours to convert a rugby field back to a basketball court.

The arena isn’t the only sign of sustainable design in the London 2012 Olympics. The main Olympic stadium will be built out of recycled guns and knives, according to Inhabitat. Confiscated by the Metropolitan Police Department, the weapons will be melted into scrap metal that will be used to build the stadium.

Stay tuned to find out if London's got any surprises in store for the 2012 Olympic Games.


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