The SSE Hydro

The stunning new £125 million purpose-built national arena seats 12,000.

  • The Hydro is complete
  • The SSE Hydro
  • The SSE Hydro is complete

Lead Partner: SECC

Other Partners: Scottish Enterprise, Glasgow City Council, SEP, Scottish Hydro

Project Team: Architects - Foster and Partners; Project Manager Turner & Townsend; Engineers ArupScotland; Quantity Surveyor Gardiner & Theobold. Planning Supervisor Halcrows

Contact Details:
Sean Murray
SECC Glasgow
0141 248 3000
sean.murray@secc.co.uk

Website: 
www.thehydro.com

Project History
Click an image to enlarge

  • View of The Hydro site from the south bank
  • Construction of the new arena is now well underway
  • Work continues on The Hydro
  • The Hydro roof is lowered into place
  • The new arena is taking shape
  • Construction of the new arena
  • The new arena will play an integral role in the Commonwealth Games in 2014
  • Construction continues apace on schedule for the 2013 opening
  • The exterior is nearly complete
  • The SSE Hydro is complete

Location:

Pacific Quay & SECC, SECC

Description:

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 lounges.

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.

The SSE Hydro is expected to be in the top five busiest indoor entertainment arenas in the world alongside such iconic venues as Madison Square Gardens in New York and The O2 in London.

Scottish Hydro has committed to invest £1.5 million per year over the next 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 for customers.

Current status:

In September 2010 SECC announced that AEG Facilities have 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. Considered one of the UK's leading project management and construction companies, Lend Lease, who previously worked on the SECC and the Clyde Auditorium, fought off stiff competition during a formal tender process.

Contracts 1 and 2 are fully complete (comprising Roads & Utilities and Piling & Substructure).  The contractor for the superstructure (Lend Lease) has made good progress on site with tower cranes erected, construction of a number of fin walls, structural columns/steelwork and decking nearing completion.   Construction of the roof elements involved 16 roof segments to be connected to a central "doughnut", which was completed by end summer 2012.

The first precast concrete seating terrace units were installed in January 2012, with the first seats to be installed by the end of the year.

In May 2012 the centre roof section was lowered into place in a massive 5-day engineering operation.

In November, the temporary supporting tower was successfully removed, leaving the huge domed roof self-supporting.
Now the first two ceiling layers are being put in and the house lights are being fitted.
A giant three-tiered steel rig is being constructed in the centre of the arena, from which all the lighting and the speakers will be hung when the Hydro opens.

In November, the temporary supporting tower was successfully removed, leaving the huge domed roof self-supporting.

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.

The opening concert takes place on 30 September 2013.

 

 

Timescale:

Feb 2011 - September 2013

Cost:

£125 million (Arena & supporting infrastructure)