Created by world-renowned architects Foster and Partners, who
also designed the SECC's Clyde Auditorium, Scotland's new national
arena will hold 12,000 fully seated and will be the largest
entertainments venue in Scotland. Now known as The SSE Hydro, the
SECC national arena is the only one of its scale in the UK built
specifically for concerts, conferences and events.
The SSE Hydro is the latest landmark on Glasgow's skyline.
Modelled on Greek and Roman amphitheatres, the 45m tall building,
with its distinctive silver dome, stands higher than the
neighbouring Armadillo. Translucent materials used in the facade
will cause the building to appear to glow at night.
View more images
of The SSE Hydro in our image gallery.
Like the Clyde Auditorium, The SSE Hydro has been designed from
the inside out. Visitors can enjoy outstanding viewing angles from
each of the 12,000 seats in the fixed, tiered and demountable
seating system and the acoustics are of the highest standard. There
are a wide range of food and drink outlets as well as a club
seating area and VIP boxes, each capable of accommodating 12
people. There will also be restaurants, bars and sponsors
Scottish Enterprise contributed £25m to the project. The
QD2 masterplan is designed to enhance and transform the 64-acre
site into a complete exhibition, conference and entertainments
complex of significant national scale and make the SECC a
world-class venue. The new facilities will enhance Glasgow
and Scotland's tourism offer, specifically business tourism, and
the arena is now lined up to play an integral role in the 2014
Commonwealth Games as the home for both gymnastics and the
netball finals at the games.
The SSE Hydro is one of the first major developments to be
undertaken in the SECC's QD2 master plan which has the potential to
create 2,449 jobs.
The 12,000-seat arena will be the largest entertainments
venue in Scotland and the only one of its scale in the UK built
specifically for concerts and events. The Hydro will play
host to around 140 events each year, including national and
international artists and bands as well as being a venue for major
comedy stars and sporting events. The arena has the potential to
inject an additional £131 million into the local economy. The
current economic impact of the SECC is £347million per annum with
1.5 million visitors a year.
By summer 2014 the arena had achieved 4th place in
the Pollstar "Top 100 Worldwide Arena Venues" rankings
Scottish Hydro has committed to invest £1.5 million per year
over 10 years. The Scottish company, which is part of SSE
plc, has been supplying energy to the nation's homes and
businesses since 1947. Scottish Hydro is proud to be investing in
Scotland's cultural heritage and will in turn provide a high
profile association with live entertainment, bringing real benefits
In September 2010 SECC announced that AEG Facilities had been
appointed to create an event programme for the new venue in advance
of it opening in 2013.
Lend Lease were appointed to build the auditorium and began work
in February 2011.
In November 2012, the temporary supporting tower was
successfully removed, leaving the huge domed roof
Early in 2013 the first two ceiling layers are being put in and
the house lights fitted.
A giant three-tiered steel rig was constructed in the centre of
the arena, from which all the lighting and the speakers will be
hung when the Hydro opens.
During summer 2013 the unique "foil pillow" cladding was
installed and inflated.
The building has now been completed.