Five shortlisted designs for the £90 million Bristol Arena have been revealed following a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) International Design Competition.

The five entries for the 12,000 capacity indoor entertainment venue will go on display to the public from today (29th January) and local residents and businesses are being asked for their comments.

The design teams, all with experience of delivering major venues in the UK or overseas, are:

  • Grimshaw – Architects of the Eden project (with MANICA Architecture, Thornton Tomasetti, M-E Engineers and Neil Woodger Acoustics)
  • IDOM – Designers of the Bilbao Arena (in collaboration with Foreman Roberts and Nagata Acoustics)
  • Populous – Architects for the London Olympic Stadium (with Feilden Clegg Bradley, Buro Happold and Vanguardia)
  • White Arkitekter – Architects for Kiruna City Plan, Sweden (with Arup and Sandy Brown Acoustic Consultant)
  • Wilkinson Eyre – Architects for Liverpool Arena (with Arup)

Bristol Mayor, George Ferguson said:

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to design a great performance venue for the city region that also boosts the regeneration of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. The successful design must above all function well, whilst inspiring audiences and offering a great experience for artists. The new arena must also work effectively and flexibly whilst being deliverable and affordable. I want to know what people think of these five shortlisted designs for this important venue, looking as much as possible beyond the imagery. The competition panel will consider all comments when it meets to analyse and judge all aspects of the proposals at the end of February.”

Lynne Sullivan, RIBA said:

“The judging panel are looking forward to evaluating the shortlisted teams’ work and having sight of creative vision applied to the Arena brief for this underused part of Bristol City centre.”

Colin Skellett, Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“This is an exciting time for the arena project and these designs offer the first idea of what it will look like. The arena is a key part of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and with the new bridge construction well underway, and an operator on board, the project is moving forwards well.”

The public will not know which team is responsible for which design until the successful team has been selected in March.

The design competition will be judged by a panel including the Mayor of Bristol, representatives from Bristol City Council and RIBA, an experienced music and performing arts promoter and a leading structural engineer with experience of arena and stadium engineering.

They will make the final decision on the successful design which will judged against criteria including:

  • The architectural concept, how it fits within the urban context and offers a vibrant experience
  • The deliverability and affordability of the design
  • The flexibility, efficiency and sustainability of the venue
  • How the design meets all the requirements of Bristol City Council and the operator SMG and Live Nation

A successful design team will be announced in March.

The Bristol Arena is due to open towards the end 2017 and will be located close to Bristol Temple Meads station in the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. The project is funded by Bristol City Council and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through its Economic Development Fund and will bring the biggest acts and millions of pounds of economic growth to the region.

Visit the RIBA exhibition truck displaying the designs at the following locations:

  • Thursday 29 January – Portwall Lane, Temple Gate, Bristol
  • Friday 30 January – Sainsbury’s, Castle Court Brislington, Bristol
  • Saturday 31 January – Broadmead shopping area, Bristol

Visit the Exhibition:

From Tuesday 3-Wednesday 11 February (except Monday) the designs will be on display at M Shed, Harbourside.

Online Exhibition and Feedback:

You can also view the designs and give your comments here.

The deadline for comments is Wednesday 11 February.