SBJ/July 11-17, 2011/In Depth

Here today, gone tomorrow?

Like Olympics hosts before them, the London Games will feature many new facilities for competition. However, instead of being left with white elephants after the event, London organizers plan several temporary structures that will be removed once the Games are over. Here are some highlights:

Aquatics Centre
LOCOG

Sports: Diving, swimming, synchronized swimming, modern pentathlon
Permanent or temporary: Permanent, with a temporary extension during the Games.
Specs: Will serve as the gateway to the Olympic Park; designed by acclaimed international architect Zaha Hadid and features a wavelike roof.
After the Games: Venue will be used by the community, clubs and schools, and elite swimmers.

Basketball Arena
LOCOG

Sports: Basketball, handball
Permanent or temporary: Temporary
Specs: With a 1,000-ton steel frame, one of the largest temporary venues built for any Olympic Games; will share a back-of-house area with the Velodrome and BMX track.
After the Games: Arena will be taken down and parts of it are expected to be reused or relocated elsewhere in the U.K.; London organizers have offered to break down and ship the venue to Rio de Janeiro, which is hosting the 2016 Olympics.

BMX Track
Sport: BMX cycling
Permanent or temporary: Temporary
Specs: 400-meter track is next to the Velodrome in the north end of the Olympic Park.
After the Games: Track will be reconfigured and will form part of a new VeloPark for the community.

Greenwich Park
Sports: Equestrian events, modern pentathlon
Permanent or temporary: Temporary
Specs: London’s oldest Royal Park, dating to 1433; cross country course will be built in the park, and a temporary main arena will be within the grounds of the National Maritime Museum.
After the Games: Course and arena will be removed.

Handball Arena
LOCOG

Sports: Handball, goalball, modern pentathlon
Permanent or temporary: Permanent
Specs: Will feature more than 3,000 square meters of external copper cladding, mostly recycled.
After the Games: Will be adapted to become a multiuse sports center for community use and athlete training.

Hockey Centre
Sport: Field hockey
Permanent or temporary: Temporary
Specs: Will feature two fields, one with spectator seating and one for use as a warm-up area.
After the Games: Center will move to the north of the Olympic Park, joining a group of facilities in the area known as Eton Manor. It will have 3,000 permanent seats with the ability to increase up to 15,000 for major events.

Lee Valley White Water Centre
Sport: Canoe slalom
Permanent or temporary: Permanent
Specs: Features include two canoe slalom courses and a 10,000-square-meter lake.
After the Games: The two courses and the facilities building will remain but the temporary seats will be removed; center will become a venue for canoeing and kayaking for the community.

Olympic Stadium
LOCOG

Sports: Track and field, decathlon
Permanent or temporary: Permanent
Specs: Most sustainable Olympic Stadium ever built; 75 percent lighter in terms of steel use; low-carbon concrete made from industrial waste; capacity of 80,000 seats.
After the Games: Will continue to be a venue for sports, cultural and community events; English Premier League’s West Ham United will assume ownership of the stadium.

Velodrome
Sport: Track cycling
Permanent or temporary: Permanent
Specs: Most sustainable venue in the Olympic Park, from the sourcing of wood for the track and external cladding to the installation of a 100 percent naturally ventilated system that eliminates the need for air conditioning.
After the Games: A new mountain bike course and road-cycle circuit will be added to create a VeloPark for the community.

Water Polo Arena
Sport: Water polo
Permanent or temporary: Temporary
Specs: Will contain a warm-up pool and a competition pool; adjacent to the Aquatics Centre.
After the Games: Arena will be taken down, but elements are expected to be reused or relocated elsewhere in the U.K.

Source: LOCOG

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