Designed to resemble an illuminated lantern from the outside, the new Yas Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi will take on multiple forms inside.
The HOK-designed venue will seat 18,000 with mixed-use opportunities that can contract all the way down to a 500-seat theater or a full-sized arena for sports and concerts. HOK is working with ESP and Pascall+Watson to deliver the arena, which also includes an adjacent mixed-use district that creates retail, dining and a festival -like atmosphere on the boardwalk.
“Our goal is to create an exceptional entertainment experience for fans and spectators,” says John Rhodes, a director of HOK’s Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice. “Yas Arena will be the centrepiece of the development and serve as a destination on Yas Island.”
The design includes both the illuminated lantern façade meant to animate the waterfront promenade at Yas Bay as well as include a flexible interior for year-round events.
“Our team knew the building needed to be smart, adaptable and technologically-advanced in order to efficiently transform for the wide variety of events the client wished to host,” says Rhodes. “This transformability will make Yas Arena one of the most sophisticated arenas in the world.”
This focus on flexibility carries over to premium and back-of-house spaces. Premium spaces include a VIP lounge that can be transformed into a grand ballroom for events, hospitality boxes and unique terrace bars for receptions and parties. Additional amenities, including food and beverage, will be located adjacent to the arena to create a linear street that stretches down the waterfront promenade. This outdoor concourse will create a festival-like atmosphere to generate year-round activity. The outdoor concourse will provide connectivity to the surrounding district on Yas Bay.