When 204 nations shipped their best athletes to London in 2012 for the Olympic Games, the BBC shipped in its £1 million studio from the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa to capture the action..

With cost and environmental impact in mind, BBC contracted the team at Urban Space Management to use their Container City™ system to create a new broadcasting hub at Stratford Olympic Park that incorporated the old studio on its roof.

The aim was to minimise the need for new resources, and ensure as much as possible could be reused.


The resulting 3-storey structure was a sturdy blue hive of prefabricated steel modules made from converted shipping containers.


Project partners Allies and Morrison designed a wood and glass roof pergola to fit around the old studio. BBC_006

A BBC spokesman told Evening Standard: “The structure upon which the studio sits is made primarily using 18 old shipping containers which means it does not require any major building work or structural foundations and is very cost effective.

It is eco-friendly, as all materials can be used again, and represents best value for license fee payers.”


After the games, the studio was carefully broken down and anything that could be reused was retrieved.

The elevator was donated to the Sea Scouts and the converted shipping containers have been returned to sea.

Shipping container conversions are becoming a go-to solution for small and large-scale temporary building projects.


Compared to traditional building techniques, shipping container conversions reduce construction time by up to half.

The prefabricated units are more environmentally friendly, more versatile, and less prone to onsite construction disruptions.