Make Architects will oversee detailed design process of Olympic venue

Buckingham Group Contracting has been appointed as the building contractor for the 2012 handball arena.

Planning permission for the London 2012 venue was granted last month, and the site has been cleared for construction to begin this summer.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said the decision to appoint Buckingham Group followed the firm's joint successful delivery with HOK Sport of the MK Dons stadium in Milton Keynes. The pair will now join up again for the detailed design and construction of the handball arena.

Buckingham Group has previous experience of delivering other sports venues, including football stadiums and racing circuits.

Make Architects will oversee the detailed design process on behalf of the ODA.

David Higgins, ODA chief executive, said: “This appointment takes us a step closer towards a simple, sustainable and flexible handball arena that works for Games and legacy.”

Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organising committee added: “The fact that handball will have its own arena at Games-time will be a great boost to the sport in this country, and it will be a much used multi-purpose arena after the Games.”

The arena will be in the west of the Olympic Park, to the south of the hockey centre.

It will hold up to 7,000 seats during the Games, hosting the handball preliminaries and quarterfinals as well as the modern pentathlon discipline of fencing. It will also form the goalball venue during the Paralympic Games.

After 2012, the arena will become a multi-sports venue with retractable seating for 6,000 spectators, and flexible facilities to hold a range of training and competition events.

Design features include over 3,000m2 of external copper cladding, mostly recycled, which changes colour as it ages, and rainwater harvesting from the roof for toilet flushing, reducing water use by 40%.