The Bartlett School of Architecture


Bartlett Alumni Create ABBA Voyage Arena

1 June 2022

STUFISH, led by Bartlett alumni Ray Winkler, Ric Lipson and Alicia Tkacz, have designed the newly opened purpose-built arena.

Image: STUFISH Entertainment Architects

The state-of-the-art, 3,000 capacity venue is currently located in east London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Designed to be demountable and reusable, the venue has planning permission to be located at its current ‘meanwhile-use’ site next to Pudding Mill DLR station for the next four years. The innovative steel-framed mass-timber structure includes a 6,710 sq ft theatre, box office, backstage area, shops, food stalls, bars and a covered concourse. 

The venue gives music fans the opportunity to see ABBA perform for the first time in over 40 years as ‘digital avatars’ accompanied by a 10-piece live band. The six-sided structure is designed to optimise the drama of the hybrid digital and physical performance and allow for a 360-degree immersive experience. The London residency has opened to wide acclaim and is currently due to run until next year.

Founded in 1994 by the late Mark Fisher, STUFISH’s projects have set a global precedent for entertainment architecture. They are responsible for some of the most innovative musical experiences in popular culture from U2’s 360° Claw to Beyoncé’s Formation Tour, as well as permanent theatres in China. 

STUFISH have also announced details for another pop-up venue initiative, The Vertical Theatre, conceived to future-proof the live entertainment industry from the impact of the global pandemic. The Vertical Theatre was founded by a group that includes STUFISH partner and Bartlett alumna, Ric Lipson.

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Image: STUFISH Entertainment Architects