The Structural Awards 2014 is now open for entries.

To visit the 2014 website please click here.

First Direct Arena

Structural Designer: Arup


Leeds, United Kingdom

Client Name

Leeds City Council



M&E Engineer


Principal Contractors

BAM Construction

Other Sub Contractors

Steelwork - Fisher Engineering Ltd; MEP - Rotary

The First Direct Arena is a landmark music venue in the heart of Leeds city-centre with a capacity of 13,500.  Its unique fan-shaped seating bowl, strongly influenced by the sloping site, is key in achieving the required capacity within the limited space. The proximity of student residential accommodation made acoustics a key driver for the engineering design, whilst a striking appearance is necessary in making the arena the intended catalyst for economic growth.  The arena achieves a BREEAM score of 61%; the highest of any arena in the UK to date.

Judges’ comment:

The design is tailored beautifully to the sloping site through its fan shape and is visually stunning as a result.  The roof solution in particular, with main trusses located in the air gap, is a highly-effective innovation that both reduces cost and increases acoustic insulation. 

The Structural Awards 2013 Winners

We are delighted to announce the The Structural Awards 2013 Winners. There are 12 Category winners, with 6 Commendations, plus the coveted Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence.

To take a look at the categories and find out more information about each of the projects, go to the Winners Page.

Thanks to our Sponsors

The Structural Awards 2013 were held at The Brewery, London, on Friday 15 November. The evening was a great success, drawing nearly 400 of the industry's most innovative engineers and companies.

Thanks to our event Partner, The Telegraph, along with all our Sponsors and Supporters. Find out more about our sponsors here.