Winner 2015

Award for
Regional Groups

Project Description

The SSE Hydro is Scotland’s largest entertainment venue. The arena’s 12,500 capacity auditorium provides a combination of fixed, retractable and removable seating to enable a wide range of different staging and concert layouts. The distinctive amphitheatre form was generated to provide the best view of the stage from every seat. Suspended from the underside of the roof is one of the largest lighting rigs in the world, used to support sound systems for performing artists. The façade lighting consists of a colour LED scheme with 16 million possible colour combinations.

Judge’s comments

The judges were impressed with the parametric modelling techniques used to generate the complex geometry and the innovative assembly method used to raise the roof. The SSE Hydro was ranked as the second busiest entertainment arena in the world in its first year of operation by industry experts Pollstar – a fantastic achievement!

Project overview

Structural Designer

  • Arup

Client Name

  • Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre


  • Glasgow, United Kingdom


  • Foster + Partners

Principal Contractor

  • Lend Lease

Key Contractors

  • Multidiscplinary Enginner: Arup

    Quantity Surveyor: Gardiner & Theobald

    Acoustics: Sandy Brown Associates

    Landscape Architect: Ian White Associates


Year Submitted

  • 2015

Submitted By

  • Arup