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At Rio Olympics, adaptable arena will host both basketball and fencing

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After the Games, the Youth Arena will be used as an education and training center for athletes

We’re just four days away from the start of the Rio 2016 Olympics, which kicks off with the opening ceremonies on Friday. To bring you a little closer to the action, here’s a look inside one of the venues, the Youth Arena, located in Deodoro Olympic Park. For an overview of every single venue, head on over to this handy map.

The Youth Arena will host women’s basketball competitions as well as modern pentathlon fencing and wheelchair fencing events. In order to accommodate three separate events, the architects were faced with the task of creating a versatile and flexible space that could easily—and quickly—be adapted and transformed.

Brazilian firm Vigliecca and Associados took on the challenge and designed an expansive and streamlined hangar-like, mostly-steel structure that incorporates temporary installations in its layout. Because the basketball games will occur first and take up only a fourth of the space, the architects came up with a bowl-like configuration in which stands with capacity for 5,000 spectators are placed all around the court.

Six days later, the modern pentathlon fencing competitions will occur, in which simultaneous matches will require the use of most of the arena space. For these matches, the stands will be reduced to 4,000 seats and will occupy just two sides of the court.

Once the Olympic Games are over, the Youth Arena will be used as an educational and training facility for athletes with eight courts and 2,000 seats. In this "legacy" mode, the building will operate using only natural light and ventilation. The facade features adjustable shades that make this possible. For the duration of the Olympics, however, the arena will employ artificial lighting and air conditioning, which are required. Take a look below.