Stufish designing hexagonal arena for ABBA reunion tour

ABBA arena by Stufish in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

British architecture studio Stufish has revealed the first image of a temporary performance venue that is set to host Swedish pop group ABBA’s reunion tour at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

Set to be built from mass timber, the 3,000 capacity arena will host the band’s virtual reunion tour from 27 May 2022, following the release of ABBA Voyage – the band’s first album in nearly four decades.

The six-sided arena, designed by Stufish, will be built on a rarely used coach park next to Pudding Mill station on the Dockland Light Railway.

Designed to be both demountable and transportable the arena has permission to be located in east London for five years.

Venue will see ABBA perform for the first time in 40 years

Although few details of the arena have been released, it has been designed to host a virtual tour that will see ABBA band members performing as “digital avatars” designed by Industrial Light & Magic.

As well as the concert hall, the site will include a box office, stalls, toilets, bars, storage and backstage facilities.

“ABBA’s breath-taking arena delivers the perfect setting for ABBA Voyage, offering you a live music experience like no other,” ABBA Voyage said in a statement.

“The venue is built around ABBA’s timeless music and never-before-seen concert, so you can have the time of your life in general admission or have the option of a seat in the auditorium if you prefer. You can even party in style in your own dance booth.”

Arena set to be demountable and transportable

A March 2020 committee report by the London Legacy Development Corporation states that approval for the demountable and transportable arena has been granted for five years.

Alongside the temporary requirement, the report outlines that “the main building would be hexagonal in form, with the massing informed by the geometry of the seating”.

Stufish has created other performance venues in locations around the world. On Hengqin Island, China the studio wrapped a theatre in a gold facade, mimicking the form of traditional circus tents.

The studio has also worked on stage sets for numerous leading musicians including the Rolling Stones. The studio recently installed a rotating 10-metre sphere in the middle of the stage for British pop band Take That.

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