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Foster's £125m Glasgow Hydro opens doors

Rod Stewart has officially opened Foster + Partners’ 13,000 capacity Glasgow Hydro arena

Built within Glasgow’s former docks on the northern bank of the River Clyde, the venue is Scotland’s largest purpose-built public event arena.

The flexible arena has a seating capacity of 12,000, or 13,000 with standing in the performance bowl, and includes 11 hospitality boxes and two VIP suites.

Shaped like an amphitheatre the arena is enclosed by a lattice steel roof that spans 120 metres and is wrapped in translucent ETFE cushions.

The Hydro will be use during the 2014 Commonwealth Games as a venue for netball and gymnastics.


Seating arrangement

Architect’s view

Spencer de Grey, head of design, Foster + Partners

With its vast steel roof and capacity for 13,000, this is the largest performance arena that the practice has designed - operationally, it allows performers a great deal of freedom in staging events, and visually, its form helps to capture the excitement of a concert.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with SECC once again, almost 18 years since we were first commissioned to design the Clyde Auditorium. The SSE Hydro has been a great team effort and it is fantastic to see the arena come to life for its first concert.

Design thaw: Hydro by Foster + Partners

Read Felix Mara’s technnical study of the Hydro

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