2012 beach volleyball stadium design revealed

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Plans for a 15,000 seater stadium in Horse Guards Parade to host Olympic beach volleyball have been submitted to Westminster City Council.

The venue, created by architects Populous and engineering and design consultancy Atkins, will be dismantled after the Games.

Mike McNicholas, of Atkins, said the location provided a "fantastic backdrop".

Horse Guards Parade hosts many major events including Trooping the Colour.

The temporary stadium will have lighting for evening competition, video and sport-specific fixtures.

It will have a lower bowl to provide a "high energy" atmosphere and a three-sided upper bowl allowing the spectators and camera views to use the London skyline beyond as a backdrop.


London 2012 beach volleyball

  • Beach volleyball competition runs for 14 days
  • Stadium will sit within three conservation areas
  • Venue will be erected within six weeks - straight after the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
  • St James's Park attracts 5.5m visitors annually

Mr McNicholas said: "This is a critical part of the work Atkins has been undertaking across the London Olympic project and in many ways one of the most visible.

"A location as prestigious and historical as Horse Guards Parade is a fantastic backdrop for any event but presents additional questions that do not arise elsewhere.

"We are proud of the technical skills we have brought to bear and believe the temporary structure provides a solution that should be considered more broadly in the future."

Jeff Keas, principal of Populous, said: "We have designed and will create, a sporting arena where you would least expect it in the heart of historic London.

"The temporary structure itself is similar in size and scale to Wimbledon's Centre Court - with a unique seating bowl that opens out to the city and will provide an amazing setting for beach volleyball."

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Visit London chief executive officer Sally Chatterjee said she welcomed the application: "International visitors come to London to enjoy the unique mix of history and heritage with modern culture and entertainment.

"The proposed beach volleyball location on Horse Guards Parade exemplifies this unusual combination and will showcase the capital in a new and exciting way."

In 2012, a total of 96 athletes will be competing to try to win the men's and women's team gold medals.

The competition will consist of 24 teams, divided into six pools of four teams each during a preliminary round.

A total of 108 matches, split equally between the women and men, will be played during 14 days of competition.

Beach volleyball made its Olympic debut at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

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