Live and loud

Sophie Therouanne
Monday 29 Jun 2009

A new benchmark for both fans and performers

The first purpose-built music venue in London since The Royal Albert Hall in 1871, the O2 Arena has now become the world’s most successful arena as well as an individual contemporary structure.

The task set for Populous as architects was a simple one, however it was the combination of the requirement to build within the existing Millennium Dome that created both a truly unique design challenge, and an opportunity to question some existing preconceptions with regards to Arena design. The design had to not only recognise the architectural excellence of the original structure and to design a suitable architectural response but to also employ simple, functional and flexible design principles to create a rewarding and memorable experience for spectators and participants.

The building takes its form from its primary function, end stage concerts, without compromising the flexibility, excellent viewer comfort and sightlines for other sporting and entertainment events. The Arena provides approximately 20,000 seating capacity for a centre stage event but also seating configurations for other various events such as ice hockey, basketball, circuses, ice shows and exhibitions. Throughout the arena, in fact the user is centre stage and a backdrop of clean architectural and graphic expression acknowledges the many different individuals who will be entertained within the space.

With the completion of The O2 in June 2007, London was given what it has always needed; a world class entertainment destination. It is this arena at the heart of the venue which puts the capital right at the forefront of the industry.

Key Facts:

United Kingdom
Civic Buildings
Architecture

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