Horse Guards Parade has a long tradition of hosting celebrated events, from Henry VIII's tournaments to the annual Trooping of the Colour, so it is fitting that it is being used as a venue for volleyball games during the London Olympic Games.
The outdoor seating bowl with 15,000 seats will have lighting for evening competition, video and sport-specific fixtures. It has been designed as two distinct elements, a 'theatre in the round' lower bowl to provide a high energy atmosphere, and a three-sided upper bowl allowing the spectators and camera views to use the historic sites and London skyline beyond as a backdrop to the event.
Careful planning, design, engineering and attention to detail has been central to ensuring that the venue fits in well with its surroundings and is sympathetic to its context and setting. Factors that have been taken into consideration include accessibility, noise, lighting, traffic, spectator experience and the requirements of the competitors themselves.
The solutions provided include taking the standard components available for temporary stadiums and creating the same feeling of permanency as the main Games venues. Pre-existing modular components will be hired to create a bespoke court. In keeping with both Populous and Atkins low carbon ethos, following the Games the venue will be dismantled, leaving no trace on the location, and can be reassembled and used in other locations. Although temporary, the structures will still need building regulations approval and will undergo the same rigorous safety tests.