a monthly round-up of the world's best interiors and design stories
Wednesday 15 Dec 2010
Populous design interior of London's famous O2 Arena
Up-stage, centre-stage, side-stage - the O2 arena takes you to a world of entertainment, a whole landscape of interior fun created like a ‘ship in a bottle' within the existing canopy of the Millennium Dome. Over 70 000 sq m of space is folded into an enticing and intricate labyrinth of entrances, concourses, lounges and dining spaces, spiralling around the central 20,000 seat arena.
The visitors' journey is a voyage of discovery; from grand entrance though the quadruple height foyer travelling up into the circuit of restaurants, cafes and bars, all leading forward to the arena space. Each concourse space visually reconnects with these destination spaces, the glancing views across bridges and down through the layered circulation advertising the attractions within.
A theatrical expression of creative lighting, grounded against the backdrop of dark colours and subtle reflections, the interior spaces flow into the spectacle of the event. The Premier Club provides a destination lounge with a neutral core colour palette softly illuminated by the giant tribute lanterns suspended over the seating area.
This base lighting scheme is complemented by a programmable LED panels to the concession and bar identity signage, slowly pulsing through a colour spectrum in the rhythm of the evening. Travel beyond the lounges and the key way-finding signage totems cast pools of blue light through the circulation spaces. Like stepping stones across the flow, this gentle hue reinforces the brand and venue identity, mapping the path onwards.
The VIP Lounge enhances the glow, translating the O2 brand graphics into an immersive experience of three-dimensional colour and form. Edges are softened into liquid curves and colours fade and merge to infinity behind translucent panelling, backlit ceilings and illuminated tables. Even the acoustics are modulated to enhance the sensory thrall, the audience themselves are players within grand and multiple stage-set, all is theatre and spectacle.