Sectors : Sport / Leisure

Client : NEC Group

As part of a winning OJEU bid, DLA’s Landscape & Urban Design team were commissioned to provide full landscape architectural services, working alongside the NEC Group to provide a new world class setting for the proposed Arena refurbishment.

The aim of the external environment design was to build a sense of anticipation for pedestrians as they journey towards the Arena, to make each visit memorable, and, key for the NEC Group, to encourage the all important repeat visits.

The primary concept driving forward the design of the landscape as a whole is inspired by the NEC Arena’s long history of hosting live music events.

From paving and planting design, to the external lighting strategy and the living wall, all aspects reflect a physical expression of radiating sound waves within the public realm.

The landscape proposals encompass a number of key components which work cohesively together to deliver the overall design concept. The relocation of the arena entrance prompted the creation of a dynamic new pedestrian entrance plaza to provide a robust landscape solution which holds large numbers of visitors, providing flexibility. A stunning 6m high ‘living wall’ of lush vegetation provides a striking backdrop to the new plaza containing views and directing patrons towards the main access.

A secure outdoor entertainment zone creates a flexible external space which provides opportunities for additional concessions and temporary entertainment before and after events. A 3m high, illuminated glazed screen separates the space from general circulation, adding an innovative and vibrant landscape element.