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Planning submitted for new entertainment & conference venue in Hull

A planning application has been submitted for a major new entertainment and conference venue in Hull, UK, located adjacent to the Princes Quay in the city centre, which will enhance this active and vibrant area.

Designed by AFL Architects, this development will provide the City with a high quality destination venue designed to support several types of events such as concerts, family shows, conferences and exhibitions.

Working with the local community has been integral to the design process particularly in relation to the venue size, mix of possible uses and scale of the building, whilst also creating a landmark gateway to the City.

The new Hull Venue will include:

  • A 3,500-capacity multi-use auditorium with retractable seating and a moveable acoustic wall for adaptable configurations.
  • Specific configuration of the auditorium to create an 800-capacity conference space.
  • 2000m² of exhibition space throughout the building.
  • Food and beverage outlets.
  • Dedicated break out spaces.
  • Refurbishment of the Osborne Street multi-storey car park.
  • A public realm to fully support all inclusive access.
  • Landscaping to complement the current public realm improvement scheme.

There are three main volumes to the building: The spacious public concourse areas; the main raked auditorium and the back of house areas. The most efficient use of the site has been a key driver for the project, minimising the footprint of the building.

The building’s form is driven by its internal uses. The flexibility of the auditorium space is a major feature of the venue’s design, including retractable seating in the ground and upper tier, a hydraulic raising stage and sliding acoustic wall.

The auditorium can be configured in various ways to accommodate a variety of uses, from an 800-person conference to an intimate music gig, large concert or exhibition. The adaptability of this venue allows it to support a diverse range of activities.

The dynamic form of the building creates a modern landmark for the City. There are two main aspects: The public side fronted by the western and southern facades, and the rear sides fronted by the northern and eastern facades. As such, the carefully selected palette of materials used has been balanced appropriately between the two. The public side, with the sloping auditorium, is expressed in a gold metallic cladding with an asymmetrically positioned silver cladding and glazed wall enclosing the public concourses. The rear of the building is to be clad in a high quality blockwork and profiled metal panelling to match the cladding of the main auditorium.

The new inclusive public realm, with generous plazas of hard and soft landscaping, creates pedestrian links directly connecting the Venue to the bars and restaurants of the surrounding city streets and adjacent shopping centre. This will integrate the new development into Hull’s retail heart.

Garry Taylor, City Major Projects Manager for Hull City Council, said:

We welcome the planning application submitted by AFL Architects and are delighted that this scheme is taking its next step forward. A high-quality, purpose-built events and conference centre is absolutely essential to making Hull a top visitor destination and to secure a long-term legacy from our year as UK City of Culture. Most importantly, it will deliver 500 long-term jobs for our local workforce and young people, which is part of the legacy that we want to deliver for Hull and the economic future we need.

John Roberts, Director, AFL Architects – Design Team Leaders for the Hull Venue Project, added:

We are delighted to be working with Hull City Council, leading the design team on this world-class venue for the City. The striking new building and surrounding plazas are designed to create a landmark for Hull and the community, contributing to the life of the City.

It is expected that the Venue will allow for independent plans to progress a new hotel and retail expansion included in the wider development, connected into the new public realm.

Scheduled to open in 2018, the facility will create a legacy following Hull’s tenure as City of Culture in 2017.

Hull Venue_ Internal  Lower Concourse_AFL_s

Images courtesy: AFL Architects

Hull Venue_South View_AFL-1 Hull Venue_North View-Day_AFL_s

Project & Design Team:

Client: Hull City Council

Project Managers and Client’s Agent: NPS Humber

Architect and Design Team Leader: AFL Architects

Services Engineer: Aecom

Structural and Civil Engineer: Aecom

Cost Consultants: Aecom

Operator Procurement, Business Planning: IPW

Catering Strategy: Tricon

Theatre and Acoustic Design Consultant: Neill Woodger