Populous has been chosen as the architect for a new 20,000-capacity venue in Munich that is set to become the first climate-neutral events arena in Germany.

Plans for the arena were approved in principle yesterday (Wednesday) by Freising City Council. Bavaria-based SWMunich has been selected to build and operate the multi-purpose arena, which is set to be funded by more than €300m (£250m/$326m) of private-sector investment.

Populous’ design for the exterior of the arena pays homage to the lozenge shape used in the Bavarian state flag, while the venue’s interior will take into account the latest technology, stage-show and production trends.

The seating of the arena will be arranged in a 270-degree horseshoe shape to place a focus on the stage. The arena will be located in a new green space next to LabCampus, the technology and innovation centre at Munich Airport.

Professional services firm Deloitte has estimated the gross added value for Freising and the region will be around €285m per year. In what Populous claims marks a first for Germany, the arena will be climate-neutral thanks to lifecycle-based planning to reduce the carbon footprint during construction and climate-positive management of the operating phase.

Several thousand solar panels will also be fitted on the roof of the arena and around the site, which will also include the potential for geothermal energy and district heating. The arena will be certified according to an internationally recognised sustainability system.

Yesterday’s council meeting saw the presentation of the basic concept, architectural drafts, sustainability concept and traffic plan for the arena.

Gert Waltenbauer, director of SWMunich, said: “Construction and operation of Germany’s most sustainable concert arena will provide a significant cultural and economic boost for the region and make it even more attractive to tourists.

“The arena will help to make the Munich metropolitan region and the state of Bavaria future-proof and internationally competitive in the event sector. Financing for the project is safeguarded for the long term with the involvement of the KGAL Group, a leading, independent investment and asset manager.”

Declan Sharkey, lead architect for the project and senior principal at Populous, added: “The design for MUCcc Arena places people at its heart, delivering a unique and immersive visitor experience, as well as showcasing the very latest in sustainable design methods. The project will create a new cultural centre for Munich and the wider Bavarian region to rival the best live entertainment venues in the world.”

A new 11,500-seat arena is already under construction in Munich. SAP Garden will be located on the Olympiapark site and will serve as the home of ice hockey club Red Bull Munich and basketball team Bayern Munich.

Images: Populous