Winner 2011

Award for
Arts or Entertainment Structures

Project Description

The Open Academy in Norwich is a £20m new school building. The building has three storeys and houses classrooms, a theatre and a sports hall. The total floor area is over 9,500m², at the centre of which is a glulam tied arch roof that forms an atrium. Barcelona’s old bullring has been transformed into a major new arts, entertainment and retail centre that acts as both a gateway into the city from the west and a landmark for the Placa Espanya transport interchange. Beyond the multitude of shops, bars and restaurants, Las Arenas includes a 12-screen cinema, a health spa/gym, a rock music museum and, at its uppermost level, a dome-covered performance space intended for exhibitions and other cultural events. The project team have worked together to create a striking new landmark that celebrates both the historic façade and the stunning new elements within.

Judge’s comments

"Engineering has once again rejuvenated an important heritage site. What is remarkable about this project is how the elegant and visually legible engineering contrasts alongside the existing facade and is a recognisable feature of the new spaces created within it."

Project overview

Structural Designer

  • Expedition Engineering Ltd and BOMA

Client Name

  • Metrovacesa (formerly Sacresa)

Year Submitted

  • 2011

Submitted By

  • Expedition Engineering Ltd and BOMA