SSE Hydro entertainment venue to open in Scotland
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SSE Hydro entertainment venue to open in Scotland

26 Sep 2013

The SSE Hydro, a new entertainment venue designed by Fosters+Partners, is set to open in Scotland on 30 September 2013.

SSE Hydro

The SSE Hydro, a new entertainment venue designed by Fosters+Partners, is set to open in Scotland on 30 September 2013.

Situated adjacent to Clyde Auditorium on the northern bank of the River Clyde within Glasgow’s former docks, the entertainment venue is said to be the largest purpose-built public event arena in Scotland.

The venue features a flexible amphitheatre for 3,000 spectators and a 120m free spanning roof, which can encompass Glasgow’s Queen Street railway station.

The exterior of the arena features lightweight translucent panels and the building can be illuminated.

Designed from inside-out, the venue will provide entire views of the stage and high-quality acoustics.

With a 12,000 seated or 13,000 standing capacity in the performance bowl, the flexible arena includes 11 hospitality boxes, two large VIP suites and a club seating level.

The multi-functional SSE Hydro, with a wide variety of concerts and stage set, can also be configured as a sporting venue to host netball and gymnastics during Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Shaped like an amphitheatre, the seating bowl, wrapped in translucent ETFE cushions is enclosed by a 1,400t lattice steel diagrid roof, which is said to be one of Europe’s largest free-spanning roof structures.

Supporting the tilted seating bowl, the roof is held aloft by a circular array of angled concrete fins. The seating bowl is designed to draw the audience close to the stage to provide possible viewing angles from every seat.

The whole building can be used as a huge screen for projections and its lighting system can be programmed for creative performances. The circular stage lighting rig of the seating bowl, which weighs 260t, has been developed with performers in mind.

The circulation spaces, running around the perimeter of the performance bowl feature a transparent façade for natural light and animate the building with the movement of people. Frit pattern, applied to the ETFE cushions will provide protection from solar gain.

Fosters+Partners, along with graphic designer Per Arnoldi, provided a ‘bold primary colour palette’ for the circulation spaces.

The surrounding landscaping creates a new civic amenity and a low concrete bank around the arena base conceals the catering and support spaces to create a green, landscaped plinth.

The SSE Hydro is integrated with the district-wide public transport.


Image: The venue features an amphitheatre for 3,000 spectators and a 120m free-spanning roof. Photo: Courtesy of Fosters+Partners.