First Direct Arena wins RIBA Regional Award

April 24, 2015

Populous is delighted to announce that the First Direct Arena in Leeds has won a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Regional Award. The arena, which opened to the public in September 2013, was chosen for its innovative and effective solutions to complex design requirements.

RIBA awards are given for buildings that have made a substantial contribution to the local environment. The First Direct Arena was particularly recognised for the major impact that the building’s multi-use capabilities, location and distinctive design have had on the successful regeneration of Leeds city centre. The design up to RIBA Stage D was undertaken with Jacobs.

With over 500,000 people attending events at the arena in 2014 alone, the venue has generated over £25 million for the local economy. The arena has also attracted some of the world’s most popular events and music acts, including Sir Elton John and the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart, becoming one of the UK’s leading entertainment venues. The First Direct Arena also holds a BREEAM “Very Good” rating, making it the most sustainable arena in the UK.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Executive Member for Transport and the Economy for Leeds City Council said: “We are proud that Leeds’ First Direct Arena has been recognised for the positive and sustainable impact it has had on our city. A great working relationship between Leeds City Council, architects Populous and operators SMG Europe has led to this exciting design and multi-functional event space.”

Ben Williams, General Manager of the First Direct Arena, said: “I am delighted that the First Direct Arena has won this prestigious award. It is a great achievement for the city of Leeds and a testament to the hard work of all involved in creating this stunning and successful arena. The First Direct Arena has already more than fulfilled the ambitions of the project stakeholders.”

Nick Reynolds, Senior Principal of Populous, said: “We are honoured that First Direct Arena has won. Receiving this RIBA Regional Award is a testament to a great success story of architects and cities working together to create amazing places for the people who live in them. We are especially grateful to Leeds City Council for helping to make this happen in this great city.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *