Winner 2023

Award for
celebrating modular, demountable timber at scale  

Project Description

This new structure provides a home to the virtual avatar show, ‘ABBA Voyage’ with 70m column-free span arena, a four-storey high timber seating structure and front-of-house canopies and pods. All the structures are fully demountable and designed for relocation. The project showcases a circular economy approach in building design and promotes these principles across the entertainment industry. It also celebrates use of timber and illustrates the potential of engineered timber for use in modular, demountable and fast construction.

Judge’s comments

ABBA Arena is a new type of building responding to the need to address the issue of sustainability within the entertainment industry. The idea of redeployable structures at this scale is new and offers huge potential in terms of the future reuse of buildings.

Every aspect of low carbon was considered and optimised for the structure and timber is used extensively in the development for a lower embodied carbon when compared with similar projects. The access deck and show grid was utilised as a tie resisting the horizontal thrust of a light steel dome which was chosen for the roof with the added benefits of robustness for repeated assembly and disassembly. The perimeter structure was designed to keep the number of elements required to a minimum utilising the rainscreen support structure for stiffness under out-of-plane loads.

An exemplar for reusable design and whole life low carbon considerations. It is rare to see a project that marries so many good ideas together.


Project overview

Structural Designer

  • Atelier One

Client Name

  • Pre-stage 4: Stufish, Stage 4 onwards: ES Global


  • London, UK


  • Stufish

Principal Contractor

  • ES Global

Key Contractors

  • Gardiner & Theobald (Project Manager, Quantity Surveyor)

    Charcoalblue (Acoustic Consultant)

    Quod (Planning Consultant)

    i-Transport (Transport Planning Consultant)

    JCLA (Landscape Consultant)

    Xylotek, Corbett & Tasker (Timber Specialist Contractor)

    Stage One (Front-of-House Contractor)

Year Submitted

  • 2023

Submitted By

Key attributes

  • Process, Profession