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Bristol Arena RIBA Competition

Bristol Arena

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​Populous
Competition | Past

​Bristol Arena

The Bristol Arena is a £90 million 12,000 capacity, indoor entertainment venue close to Temple Meads Station in the heart of the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. The project, funded by Bristol City Council and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership will bring the biggest acts and millions of pounds of economic growth to the region.

Invited Culture and Leisure

The winning team was Populous, in partnership with Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects and BuroHappold Engineering.

The competition panel praised the winning design team for its unique innovative concept that allows for smaller capacity theatre style events, while quickly converting to larger configurations for sporting events, major conventions or exhibitions and up to 12,000 capacity performances.

The winning proposal was considered by the panel to have an excellent response to the operator’s requirements and acoustics, good sustainability credentials with a commitment towards achieving a BREEAM excellent rating, a good level of detail to support their cost estimate and a strong team that will bring considerable experience to the project.


"I am delighted with the outcome of this vital design competition. The Populous team has presented an innovative design for a horseshoe shaped arena that will allow us real flexibility for programming, for now and into the future, offering both performers and audiences an outstanding acoustic and visual experience. The new arena shone out as the best of five great designs and will sit comfortably on the ‘Arena Island’ site next to Temple Meads and the Bath Road. I have been determined that we achieve the best arena yet and the commitment towards achieving a BREEAM Excellent environmental rating adds to Bristol’s reputation as European Green Capital. Although Bristol is one of the last cities in the UK to build an arena, this design, is an evolution of some the world’s best venues and gave the expert panel real confidence in the team’s ability to deliver a very special venue for the region."

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol and Past President of the RIBA

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