3XN completes Royal Arena wrapped by wooden strips at the heart of Copenhagen

  November 24, 2017 - 16:11   1637     Submitted by WA Contents

Copenhagen-based architecture firm 3XN, in collaboration with HKS, has completed the Royal Arena wrapped by soft wooden strips at the heart of Copenhagen in Denmark, which aims to be "a good neighbour" in the city centre compared to other large sports venues. The 35,000-square-metre venue is expected to be one of the most attractive cultural venues in the middle of a residential area of Copenhagen. 

The building serves as a multi-purpose arena for international concerts, culture and sports events, with its 16,000 capacity and 12,500 seating in a total area of 37,000-square-metre space. 

The project was designed to serve for concerts and international level sporting events by combining two key design parameters: to create an attractive and highly flexible multi-purpose arena that can attract spectators locally as well as internationally and to ensure the building’s presence to be a catalyzer for growth for the entire district as well as Copenhagen. 

Huge elliptic volume sits on a podium that offers different public areas for social meetings and daily activities with a warm timber façade allowing spectators to look out and the curious to look in, the arena is designed to catalyse urban life, thereby adding value and fitting into the surrounding neighbourhood.

"Without a doubt, a building of this size affects the community next to it. Copenhagen’s new international arena is not, like a traditional arena, located on the outskirts of the city. It sits amidst a dense residential urban area with housing and businesses," said 3XN. 

"As 'the good neighbour,' therefore, its design needs to encourage active interaction and those characteristic values which make a neighbourhood enjoyable," added the firm, in a press release.

"From the beginning, therefore, it was central to 3XN to create an intimate symbiosis between the building and the community, activating its surroundings and offering new opportunities for those who live and work adjacent to the building," detailed the firm.

"All its facets, the arena is designed to be a 'good neighbour'. Central was the idea of 'putting people first'. A radical rethinking of the Arena typology was, therefore, inevitable."

Image © Rasmus Daniel Taun 

"Our most important question before starting out the Royal Arena project was: How do we design the good neighbour for this area?," said Kim Herfoth Nielsen, Founder and Creative Director at 3XN Architects.

The studio uses a Scandinavian typology for the building's podium, which is created to act as a link to the adjoining neighbourhood. The architects designed the podium efficiently to absorb the movement of spectators through a variety of small plazas, pockets and gathering areas which have been carved from the podium’s perimeter. 

It simultaneously encourages the community to embrace the variety of public spaces, staircase, and adjacencies which promote activity and liveliness when the building is not in use.

"Since the arena is a local building, it was important to us to design it as an aesthetic contribution to the area, and not just a massive concrete block like other stadiums tend to be. Design wise, Royal Arena is easy to recognize with the curvy wooden fins and the minimalistic Nordic expression and fits the nearby area," explained Kim Herfort Nielsen. 

3XN achieved optimal flow at all scales of events - visitors reach to the podium through a wide staircase and from the podium they enter the building via a large main entrance or, in case of large audience sizes, are distributed smoothly along the facade between four different entries. The wavelike movements lift up slightly above the natural entry points of the Arena making way-finding easy and logical.

The bowl contains a variety of design features to improve performance experience, such as angled walls to improve sightlines, a flat ceiling, acoustic walls, vomitories to facilitate access and a stage set up which is first rate. 

With a 22 meter height around the stage, it is the focus point no matter where one isseated. The flexibility of the design allows for the widest range of events; and possible configurations that is therefore almost infinite.

As concerts will make up a large proportion of events at the Royal Arena, the end stage configuration is very important. The Arena is also extremely flexible. It allows for a comprehensive range of staging options with a 22 meter height surrounding the stage. 

In addition, the symmetrical block layout, allows seating to be built up, reduced, expanded or sectioned off in the most appropriate ways for each concert, but also highly capable of adapting to quick operational changes and requirements based on ticket sales. 

The building has an open ground foor and a public plateau at the first floor level. Most of the spectators are seated on three sides of the stage/track/court, with the option to accommodate further visitors on the fourth side for sporting events and special cultural events. In concert-mode, the arena floor can be retracted.

3XN won an invited competition to design a large-scaled sports venue in 2012 and the building was completed this month. 

Floor plan level-0

Floor plan level-1

Floor plan level-2

Floor plan level-3

Floor plan level-4

Transverse section

East elevation

South elevation

Detail section

Project facts

Project name: Royal Arena 

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark 

Typology: Multi-purpose Arena for international concerts, culture and sports events 

Assignment: 1st prize in invited competition 2012 

Size: 37 000 m2 

Height: 35m 

Capacity: 16,000 

Seating: 12,500  

Client: Arena CPHX P/S 

Architect: 3XN (Lead Consultant and Design Architect) & HKS (Arena Specialist) 

Engineer: Arup, HAMI and ME Engineers 

Landscape architect: Planit-IE 

Team: Kim Herforth Nielsen, Jan Ammundsen, Bo Boje Larsen, Peter Feltendal, Audun Opdal, Maria Tkacova, Jack Renteria, Robin Vind Christiansen, Dennis Carlsson, Andreas Herborg, Anja Pedersen, Bodil Nordstrøm, Christian Harald Hommelhoff Brink, Gry Kjær, Ida Schøning Greisen, Jakob Wojcik, Jan Park Sørensen, Jeanette Hansen, Juras Lasovsky, Laila Fyhn Feldthaus, Mads Mathias Pedersen, Marie Persson, Mikkel Vintersborg, Pernille Ulvig Sangvin, Sang Yeun Lee, Sebastian le Dantec Reinhardt, Simon Hartmann-Petersen, Stine de Bang, Sune Mogensen, Søren Nersting, Tobias Gagner, Torsten Wang, Henrik Rømer Kania.

Timeline Completion: 2017

All images © Adam Mørk, unless otherwise stated 

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