Originally called the Handball Arena when it was opened last year, it was renamed the Copper Box — much to British Handball's dismay — because more than one sport will be held there both during and after the Games.
The venue’s quirky name is taken simply from the material which provides the cladding for its box-like exterior, which features 3,000 square metres of partly recycled copper.
Another environmentally friendly aspect of the venue in addition to the usage of recycled material in its construction are its 88 light pipes - which attract natural light into the interior and are expected to cut energy consumption by 40 percent. Meanwhile the roof design allows water to be collected and stored so that it can be used to flush toilets within the facility.
Inside there is a multi-coloured interior, with retractable seating and two temporary warm-up courts. Indeed the venue is extremely versatile and although it will only host two sports during the games – handball and modern pentathlon – it will later be used to host an array of indoor sports, such as badminton, basketball, boxing, handball, martial arts, netball, table tennis and volleyball.
After the Games it will be the only permanent new Olympic indoor arena to be retained, becoming a leisure centre for use by the local community and for international competition. It will include a health and fitness club, changing facilities and a cafe.
Basketball will be held in the larger temporary Basketball Arena and handball will take place in both venues, so the use of the Copper Box during the Games is just the beginning for this iconic venue which should house endless hours of sport and competition for generations to come.
Essentially there is little sense in building massive spectator arenas for indoor sports which are later relatively unused after the Games and the versatility of the Copper Box is an intelligent compromise as it will become a crucial asset to the local community as a legacy to London 2012.
Public facilities: The Games Mobility service will be present, plus there is a London 2012 Shop. There will also be London 2012 information points for venue and sports information, transport updates, lost and found services and pushchair and wheelchair storage.
History: Like the entire Olympic Park the Copper Box is a new structure, construction having commenced on the venue in July 2009. It was the third competition venue on the main Olympic site to be completed, in May 2011.
What’s on?: Handball (July 28-August 7), modern pentathlon fencing (August 11-12).
How do you get there?: Copper Box is in the Olympic Park which can be reached by rail, underground, Docklands Light Railway, bus or coach. National Rail, London Underground and DLR all serve Stratford station to the east of the park and West Ham station to the south, while Transport for London has bus stops in the area and there will also be coach services to the park.
Find it on the map here.
Location – in Olympic park: Copper Box lies to the north of the Olympic Stadium, close to the International Broadcast Centre.
Location – on the tube: Closest underground stations are Stratford (Jubilee and Central lines - around 15-minute walk) or West Ham (District and Hammersmith & City lines – around 25-minute walk).