The frame is covered with stretched white material which will be used for light projections during the Games - in a similar way to the Beijing 2008 "Water Cube". Although it is a temporary structure, it is one of the most eye-catching venues of London 2012 and shares a 'backstage' area with the Velodrome and BMX Track.
It took just three months to erect the 1,000-tonne steel frame in spring 2010, but construction on the site began in October 2009 before being completed within budget in June 2011 at a cost of £40m.
From an aerial perspective
Specialising in aerial photography since 1991, Jason Hawkes has produced over 40 aerial photographic books for the likes of the BBC, Random House and Harper Collins. Taking to the sky in a helicopter, he snapped this impressive photo of the Basketball Arena, amongst other pictures of Olympic venues.
Nearby Food and Drink
The Olympic Stadium is located within the Olympic Park, Stratford. Even though the park isn't located within central London, there are numerous restaurants and bar venues nearby:
- 7 minute walk
- Best of British menu devised by Lloyd Hardwick
- Bethnal Green - 2 tube stops from Stratford, via the Central line
- Minimalist warehouse chic restaurant with a great brunch menu
- 20 minute walk
- An east-end style gastropub with a traditional and affordable menu
- 24 minute walk
- Large pub garden, jukebox and laidback atmosphere
- London Fields station - 1 stop from Stratford, via National Rail
- Large garden and extensive beer menu, with traditional bitters and run-of-the-mill lagers
Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre
- 10 minute walk
- This 1.9 million square foot shopping mall has been billed as the 'gateway' to London's Olympic Park. With 300 high street shops, 50 or so restaurants, a 14-screen cinema, a bowling alley and the UK's largest casino, it's an impressive entertainment venue that's located just minutes away from the Olympic Park.
- Mile End Tube - 1 stop from Stratford, via London Overground
- Situated on the oldest known trade route in Britain, this market offers crafts, antiques, food, clothing and more
- Hackney Central - 1 stop from Stratford, via London Overground
- Seven-screen cinema with three bars - including Hackney Attic which hosts music and comedy evenings
- 18 minute walk
- 450-seat theatre that showcases new writing and ethnically diverse plays
- 7 minute walk
- A flat, almost continuous and straight traffic-free walking and cycling route that carves through East London at a high level
- 10 minute walk
- Bowling alley located within Westfield Stratford Centre
- Mile End Tube - 1 stop from Stratford, via the Central Line
- The city's first public park boasts picturesque lakes and an Old English Garde
There are numerous options when travelling to the Olympic Park. Driving is not advised due to high levels of traffic and restricted parking - limited, pre-booked parking will be available for disabled spectators. Public transport options include:
Delivering passengers from St Pancras to Stratford International in just seven minutes, the Olympic Javelin high-speed train shuttle service will take up to an estimated 25,000 travellers per hour.
National Rail, Docklands Light Railway and London Overground will run trains to the following stations:
Walking and Cycling
Greenway walking and cycling routes will connect the Olympic Park with numerous locations - including Victoria Path, Lee Valley North and Epping Forest. The walking routes are step free and there will be free cycle parking provided at the Eton Manor Transport Hub, Greenway Transport Hub and Victoria Park.
Time lapse video
Film courtesy of London 2012.