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Thursday, December 18, 2008

The O2, Dublin, Ireland

HOK Sport and Buro Happold designed venue opens in Irish capital

Following the success of the internationally recognised O2 arena in London’s Greenwich, the structure’s sister project in Dublin opens today. Telecommunications and investment company O2 enlisted the help of top stadium designers HOK Sport and international multi-disciplinary engineers Buro Happold to create an equivalent venue in the Irish capital city.

While the O2 arena in London’s canopy- form was an original design by Richard Rogers, refitted following its use as the Millennium Stadium by HOK SVE, the O2 in Dublin is an €80 million state-of-the-art renovation of the city’s historic Point Theatre.

The challenge was to provide a sustainable future for the venue by converting the interior hall into a unique elliptical amphitheatre auditorium, while retaining the essential features of the famous listed warehouse. John Barrow, Senior Principal at HOK Sport commented on the project:

“The architectural design is a response to the unique characteristics of the remarkable heritage building, the context of the new development and the unique opportunities and constraints of the site generally. The refurbishment and reuse of the historic warehouse as a public entertainment venue will have a considerable social impact on Dublin and we are confident that The O2 in Dublin will become a world class venue.”

The new auditorium has offers up to 14,000 seated and standing capacity, with retractable seating and screens offering the flexibility to create the right ambience for smaller events. The stage itself features exceptionally wide wings to accommodate a great variety of stage and sports events.
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