Main contractor Barr Construction has started work on the seating structure inside the 12,000-capacity Olympic basketball venue.
The Basketball Arena, which will be dismantled after the Games and potentially reused elsewhere, is set to be one of the quickest venues to finish in the 200-hectare Olympic Park.
Construction of the 1,000-tonne steel frame only started in March, just over a year before the expected project completion date in April 2011.
Work is currently underway preparing the foundations for the seating on the Arena.
The main internal steelwork providing the framework for the building’s services and amenities below is nearly complete, while the installation of scaffolding required to support the seating has now begun.
The seating frame and seats will then be put into place a section at a time so work can start on installing facilities underneath - including lifts, toilet blocks, corridors and VIP access rooms. It is planned that the first block of seating will be complete by early September to make way for the construction of the first of eight spectator toilet blocks.
Redditch firm Slick Seating is providing the temporary seating. Volker Fitzpatrick is erecting the steelwork, building the toilet blocks and internal fit-out, including lifts.
The venue, which is 35 metres high and 115 metres long, is wrapped in 20,000 sq m of recyclable white PVC membrane that has been stretched over three different variations of arched panels. During the games the exterior will act as a canvas for an artistic and innovative lighting design.
After the Games the venue will be dismantled by Barr Construction, which owns the temporary structure, with the option of reusing elements of the arena at other UK and overseas events.
Basketball preliminary matches and women’s quarter finals will be staged at the Arena, in addition to the handball men’s quarter finals, all semi finals and medal matches. It will also host wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby during the Paralympic Games.