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HOK's plans for Manchester Arena expansion

Above: CGI of Manchester Arena's proposed redevelopment (HOK for ASM Global)

Future Cities Forum is delighted that John Rhodes, Design Principal in HOK’s London office, will be speaking at our levelling up event in Manchester this week - at the Science + Industry Museum. John is a director of the Sports + Recreation + Entertainment practice and a member of the firm’s global design board. His work helps spur urban regeneration and economic development in communities.

John is advancing the next generation of sports and entertainment venues by making them destinations in their own right. He has extensive experience in the design of arenas and stadiums, Formula One circuits, conference and exhibition centres, horse racing tracks and high-performance training facilities.

The practice is involved in a major extension to Manchester Arena - with ASM Global. Residents in the city are still grieving following bomb attacks and it remains an important focal point in the city.

As part of HOK's work in the North of England, the practice is also working on leisure facilities in Gateshead. The Council's Planning and Development Committee has approved plans for a new waterfront arts and leisure development on the banks of the River Tyne. Framed by views of historic Newcastle and Gateshead, the £260 million NewcastleGateshead Quays will include a new 12,500-seat arena, an adjacent conference center, a dual-branded hotel, and large areas of public realm and performance space.

HOK’s London studio led the master planning for Newcastle Gateshead Quays and has designed the arena, conference center and public plazas. Planit is the landscape architect. AHR Architects is designing the hotel.

Comprising more than 585,000 square feet, the arena-led regeneration continues the transformation of the Gateshead and Newcastle waterfront from its industrial past to a modern destination for recreation and culture. The project will sit amongst some of the UK’s most distinctive cultural and civic spaces, including the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Millennium Bridge and Sage Gateshead.

“NewcastleGateshead Quays is an amazing opportunity to combine the new arena and conference center with the existing highly successful Sage and Baltic Quarter,” said John Rhodes, design principal and director of Sports + Recreation + Entertainment at HOK’s London studio. “The project will attract visitors from across the UK and Europe and deliver highly memorable experiences within an architecturally distinctive space.”


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