The ABBA Arena is a state-of-the-art 3,000 capacity arena housing ‘ABBA Voyage’, a cutting edge virtual show blending physical and digital worlds, bringing ABBA back to the stage after 40 years.
- // 2022
- // Bespoke Venue
- // London, UK
The ABBA Arena is a fully demountable building, located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London. The arena has been designed in tandem with the cutting-edge show to provide the perfect immersive environment for the audience. Using a hybrid steel and mass-timber construction methodology, the building has been designed to be relocated to another city in future years.
The arena has been designed to feel like a mysterious and intriguing object has landed on the East London site; its brutalist hexagonal form is softened by the introduction of timber synonymous with Swedish design. A rainscreen of larch fins wrap the arena with the iconic ABBA logo formed from LED strips, and larch battens clad the modular front of house accommodation to unify the scheme.
Internally the auditorium follows the hexagonal geometry, with the seating stands wrapping around a central dance floor area, so the audience can share the joy and emotion of the show with each other. The 360 degree show effects encompass the entire auditorium creating an immersive, yet incredibly intimate environment.
Partner at STUFISH Entertainment Architects
"This unique project provided the perfect blend of architecture and entertainment, allowing us to create an amazing immersive experience for the audience, that has never been seen before”
The arena building is a lightweight bolted steel structure clad with two independent layers of insulated panels. This allows an external envelope to perform well acoustically and thermally, with the 70m column free space spanned as efficiently as possible. An independent internal structure makes use of mass timber to create the seating rakes, and house vertical circulation within the arena.
There is also extensive use of mass timber to the open front-of-house concourse in the form of a reconfigurable modular hybrid steel-glulam canopy, as well as CLT modules housing food & beverage, retail, VIP lounge and cloakroom spaces. The back-of-house accommodation is in prefabricated accommodation to the rear of the arena. Both features will allow the building to be reconfigured when it is relocated to another site.
Architects and Stage Designers STUFISH Structural Engineer Atelier One MEPH Engineer Atelier Ten Project Manager and Cost Consultant Gardiner & Theobald Theatre Consultant Charcoal Blue Planning Consultant Quod Traffic Consultant iTransport Contractors ESG & Stage One Show Integration Wonderworks Director Baillie Walsh Producers Ludvig Andersson & Svana Gisla Executive Producers Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Reuss, Gorel Hanser, Michael Bolingbroke Co-Executive Producers Johan Renck & Per Sundin Technical Producer Nick Levitt Composer Bjorn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson Lighting Design Tetro, Greenwall, and Whitevoid Sound Design Auditoria VFX Industrial Light & Magic Choreography Wayne McGregor