Horse Guards Parade

Beach Volleyball has proved to be one of the most popular sports at the Olympic Games since its introduction in Atlanta in 1996. The setting in the iconic Horse Guards Parade venue, within an entirely temporary 15,000 outdoor seating arena – similar in size to Wimbledon Centre Court, positions it to be one of the most-sought after tickets events for the London 2012 Games. The stadium itself has been designed to create a ‘theatre in the round’ lower bowl that will provide a high energy atmosphere, and a three-sided upper bowl that will provide spectators and television audiences with an unrivalled view of the London skyline beyond.

The venue will host the Olympic beach volleyball competition for a total of 11 days and there will be three sessions a day for the preliminary rounds. Its seating bowl has been designed to respond to its historic setting and the associated facilities will respect the sensitivities of its built and natural environment. The warm-up courts and athlete/International Federation accommodation is located between the arena and the Horse Guards buildings. All accommodation in this area is set out symmetrically to respond to the Palladian architecture of Horse Guards. The warm up courts are located centrally to avoid any built overlay affecting the views from the stadium. The warm courts are symmetrically set out to focus on the equestrian statues of Field Marshalls Roberts and Wolseley. The beach volleyball venue has been constructed in a very short timeframe, constrained by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee that occurred on Horse Guards Parade six weeks before the opening ceremony for the Olympic Games.