Broadway Malyan designs the next generation of arena / by rachel

The National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham’s city centre has unveiled the next generation of arena, as it gets set to undergo a £20.6 million transformation. The modernisation of the NIA aims to take advantage of its unique location on the city’s canal side and will feature a new showcase entrance straight from Brindleyplace into the arena, with large glazed views over the water and the city.

The work is set to get underway in late 2012 and will include improved facilities and a much greater emphasis on both the pre and post show experience. The flow within the venue will be made much easier, increasing the ease of access and comfort for promoters, artists and visitors to the building. Coupled with this is the new entrance, which will secure the venue as a focal point for the city.

Aidan Ridyard, director at global architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan said: “The National Indoor Arena is a project defined by its potential. It is a truly public venue, hosting a remarkable diversity of performance, sports and entertainment, and which brings Birmingham into the consciousness of millions of people around the world. To be chosen to redefine the architectural vision for such a great institution is an honour.

“We are genuinely excited at the opportunity of beginning the reinvention of this pivotal section of Birmingham’s waterfront fabric, and will create a space which embraces this remarkable location, whilst visually celebrating the venue’s innate vitality. We see the new NIA as a waterfront window onto the excitement of the entertainment within and the heritage of our city surrounding it.”

The NIA has been a huge draw for visitors to Birmingham since it was officially opened in 1991 by Olympic athlete Linford Christie. The flexible arena has since gained a global reputation for world-class sports, headline comedy and music, and a diverse range of crowd-pleasing live entertainment.

The improvement work at the venue, which has not been refurbished since its opening, is key to continuing its long term success of the venue. The new design includes further opportunities for retail units with an extra 5,926 m² of pre and post show space added to the 7,500 m² of refurbishment that will take place, ensuring that the new NIA maintains its position as a destination to visit in Birmingham city centre.

Broadway Malyan is a global architecture, urbanism and  practice distinguished by its global reach with 15 offices from São Paulo to Shanghai, unrivalled diversity with 500+ sector experts, and distinctive client focus with over 80% of 2010 income from repeat business, and it delivers award-winning cities, places and buildings.

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