A £40.5m legacy project in Hull, delivered as part of the UK’s City of Culture 2017, has been named winner of the Design through Innovation category at the RICS Yorkshire and Humber Region Awards 2019.

The Hull Bonus Arena is a high quality, flexible venue catering to entertainment, conference, exhibition and banqueting events and is the first of its size and type in the UK.

NPS Humber provided professional services for construction, site assembly, site clearance, operator procurement, demolition of an existing multi storey car park and construction of a new multi storey car park (RIBA Stages 1-7). The concept design, co-ordinated by NPS, was tendered and the successful contractor appointed a design team to develop the RIBA Stage 3 Design under a Pre-Construction Services Agreement.

Innovative design features include:

  • retractable seating to adjust capacity from 2,900 (seated) to 3,500 (standing)
  • a 10.5m high movable partition wall to break up the space for smaller events
  • a temporary staging structure to accommodate a range of events
  • a range of other rooms such as hospitality lounges, a green room, dressing rooms and an artist catering and dining room
  • a large, open plaza at the front of the building providing a meeting and queuing area.

The scheme has been well received by users and the local community. These innovations and design have made a significant contribution to the character and appearance of the surrounding area, transforming what was once a stark, urban brownfield site.

The RICS judges praised the team behind the striking Bonus Arena – NPS Humber, AFL Architects, Bam Construction, IPW and the client Hull City Council – for “pushing the design boundaries and using innovative solutions to make its interior spaces so flexible, with retractable seating and temporary staging.”

Following this win, the project is automatically entered into the RICS Awards 2019 Grand Final in October to compete against all other regional winners in the category.

The project also won two awards at the LABC South Yorkshire and Humber Ceremony on the same night – ‘Best Public Service Building’ and the ‘Winner of Winners’ award.