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The box that rocks

  • An fully adaptable legacy arena 
  • One of four permanent venues in the Olympic Park
  • Combines efficiency and functionality with a distinctive appearance

Project Details

Location London, UK
Status Built 2011
Sectors Arts and culture, Sports and leisure, Interiors
Area 15,500m²/170,000ft²
Client Olympic Delivery Authority

When we were commissioned to create a world-class arena ahead of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, a key challenge was crafting a design that could be efficiently repurposed after the Games.

Enter the Copper Box, one of only four permanent venues in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The 7,500-seat indoor arena – London’s third-largest – hosted three major Olympic and Paralympic events during London 2012, and now operates as a community leisure and training facility, accommodating a wide range of sports
as well as concerts, conferences and exhibitions.

The multi-purpose arena takes the form of a simple copper-clad structural box housing 2,750m2 field of play surrounded by colourful interiors. A retractable seating system means the shape and size of the playing surface can be swiftly be changed to suit different events, layouts and spectator numbers.

The Copper Box received an overwhelmingly positive reaction during London 2012, one that culminated in several industry awards as well as a loving nickname for the arena: ‘the box that rocks’. Its significant contribution towards the revitalisation of the Stratford area means it will continue to make an impact for years to come.