Creating a new type of Arena for live music

The O2 Dublin

  • Dublin
  • 2008

CHALLENGE. The requirement to retain the listed façade of a famous warehouse on Dublin’s historic quayside dictated the tightest of building envelopes for this arena for LiveNation. Populous was asked to create a design that had maximum flexibility, with a focus on the demands of live music – and this had to be sandwiched within the restrictions of the existing building.

INNOVATION. To meet the brief, Populous converted the interior hall into a unique elliptical amphitheatre auditorium, while retaining the building’s essential features. In addition to creating a new arena type, we installed the largest air activated relocatable seating system in the world. An integrated SPS seating tier was another world first. As well as the innovative flexible capacity, the acoustics are of concert hall quality, something that’s unique in an arena of this size. The venue is also innovative in terms of brand activation, with unique spaces bringing O2 to life for visitors and fans.

IMPACT. Thanks to its wide wings, retractable seating and a well-positioned service area for minimal setting up and breakdown time, the O2 Dublin has the flexibility to accommodate a great variety of stage and sports events. The venue hosts over 150 event nights per year and major touring acts declare it the best for audience interaction in the world. In fact, it’s become the world’s second most successful arena after O2 London (also a Populous design). The building acts as a focal point within the Dublin City Plan, expressing that special character which makes it a truly unique venue.