Shortlist announced for new Arena for Bristol

Bristol’s Mayor, George Ferguson, has announced the shortlist of five experienced design teams for the 12,000 capacity Bristol Arena, at his annual State of the City address.

The announcement follows the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) International Invited Design Competition which launched in August. Over 30 teams from across the world, expressed interest in designing the cultural venue that will be located close to Bristol Temple Meads Station and is due to open towards the end of 2017.

The five shortlisted multi-disciplinary design teams (in alphabetical order) are: 

  • Grimshaw, MANICA Architecture, Thornton Tomasetti, M-E Engineers and Neil Woodger Acoustics
  • IDOM (in collaboration with Foreman Roberts and Nagata Acoustics)
  • Populous Arena Team (Populous / Feilden Clegg Bradley / Buro Happold / Vanguardia)
  • White Arkitekter with Arup and Sandy Brown Acoustic Consultant
  • Wilkinson Eyre with Arup

The multi-disciplinary teams include architects and engineers who all have experience of delivering major venues in the UK or overseas. They will now work on their design proposals for the Bristol Arena which will be submitted in January 2015.  A public exhibition of all five design proposals will take place in January prior to a decision being made in March.

Mayor George Ferguson said:
“We are at a really exciting stage in the development of Bristol’s long awaited arena.  I am delighted with the level of interest that we have had to the RIBA design competition. We now have five very capable and talented design teams with a wealth of experience between them drawing up proposals for an arena that will contribute to the regeneration of the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and provide one of the very best experiences for audiences and major acts. These are really very important milestones and take us several steps closer to the delivery of this major venue for the city region.”

Lynne Sullivan, RIBA Adviser commented:
“Overall the quality of the competition submissions was extraordinarily good, but we are satisfied that those chosen for the second stage of the City’s exciting journey, to deliver the heart of Bristol’s new quarter, will bring the right combination of experience and inspiration to the final selection of the Bristol Arena design team.”

Colin Skellett Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership said: 
“The level of interest in the new arena is excellent, with a strong shortlist of design teams demonstrating the extent of the ambition. This important development will bring economic benefits, jobs and growth to the city region.”

The Bristol Arena is due to open towards the end 2017 and will be located close to Bristol’s Temple Meads station in the Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.

– Ends –

RIBA Competitions
Please ensure RIBA Competitions is credited when mentioning the above competition.  RIBA Competitions delivers variety, inspiration and value through expertly run competitive selection processes.  For further details visit

Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone
Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone is one of the largest urban regeneration projects in the UK. It covers 70 hectares of land in the centre of Bristol and includes Temple Meads railway station, the surrounding offices at Temple Gate and Temple Studios, creative office space at Paintworks and  the former diesel depot site where the planned Bristol Arena development is set to be located.

The 25 year ambition for the project is to regenerate the area and create a new, superbly connected entry to Bristol and a hub for creative, high-technology, specialist engineering and low-carbon companies. 

Arena Island
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) currently own the Arena Island site and has recently appointed London-based Allies and Morrison to shape the creative vision for the site.

When complete, the project will show how lively streets, public spaces and large and small buildings can be laid out around the arena to form a new creative hub for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.



Posted on Tuesday 11th November 2014

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