MPV wins Spark Award

The Arts Alliance Mobile Performance Venue has been recognised on the international design stage by a Spark Award. Designed by Norwegian architects Various and developed by structural engineers Ramboll Whitbybird with specialist contractor ESS, the venue received the top Spark accolade alongside projects by other significant design names, including Dyson and Essential Design.

The Spark Awards are intended to be the new benchmark for design. The idea is to attract those who aspire to design for the better and encourage new ways for everybody to really experience design. It's an international scheme and is open to designers of all levels and skill sets — professional, novice and student.

Various Architects project leader Ibrahim Elhayawan explains: “The client set a tough brief. The structure had to be capable of being erected within two weeks and when demounted it had to fit inside a reasonable number of shipping containers for transportation across the world. It also had to be of the highest quality architecturally.”

The team set out to design a lightweight and easily transportable venue that will fit into 30 containers when demounted, while also creating a unique and iconic structure. The aim is to provide a spectacular environment for the public and artists alike, with state of the art surround sound systems and projection screens.

The resulting lightweight steel, aluminium and inflatable fabric tube structure encloses an area larger than a football pitch, making the structure the largest mobile event venue in the world. Effectively composed of a kit of parts, small sections of the structure can be erected as self-stable entities and hired out for smaller events.

The central performance space (2000m2) will hold a standing audience of 3,500 people. Possible configurations include the use of portable stadium seating and conversion of the central screen area to a stage for live performances.

To read more about the design see the project page.

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