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The changing landscape for venues

Here, Lorenz Schmid, MD of Bavaria-based developer SWMUNICH, takes us inside the plans for Germany’s first climate-neutral arena

23 Jun 2022

The 20,000-cap MUCcc Arena in Munich is set to become Germany’s first climate-neutral arena after planning permission was granted earlier this spring. Here, Lorenz Schmid, MD of Bavaria-based developer SWMUNICH, takes us inside the changing landscape for venues.

At SWMUNICH Real Estate we are planning to build and operate Germany’s first climate-neutral international arena with a capacity of up to 20,000 visitors. On 6 April 2022, the Freising City Council gave our concept the green light on a site at Munich International Airport. For us, it is both an incentive and an obligation. Our project brings Munich into the champions league of indoor concert venues.

With more than €300 million of private investment in this perfect location, our new arena in the Munich region will have a major impact in many ways, namely: the new arena will be a cultural boost, an economic and tourism driver, and a role model in terms of sustainability standards – economically, ecologically, and socially.

“This is not about using sustainability and a commitment to climate protection for marketing purposes, but a deeply rooted set of company values”

Looking at global key figures, the business model of both national and international artists has radically changed in the wake of streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music.

Artists now need to earn their living primarily through concerts and live shows, increasing the demand for attractive, modern venues. This is a worldwide trend reflected in the numerous new arena buildings that are being planned, and some of which have already been built, for example in Vienna, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Milan, Amsterdam, and Manchester.

In the Munich region, there is neither an arena specially designed for concerts and live shows nor an indoor location with a capacity of up to 20,000 guests. We are closing this gap and thus supplementing the cultural offerings in the region and throughout Germany at a time of increasing demand.

We will build and operate the first climate-neutral concert arena in Germany. This is not about using sustainability and a commitment to climate protection for marketing purposes but a deeply rooted set of company values. To achieve our goal, we put all our efforts into sustainability, i.e., ecological, economic, and social requirements, at the centre of our considerations from the very beginning of the planning process. To this end, we have worked out our “climate and sustainability concept” in collaboration with experts in the field, and this will be regularly updated as innovations become clearer.

“An essential component of climate neutrality is the reduction of the CO2 footprint during the construction phase and climate-positive management in the operating phase”

Our goal is to maintain world-class levels of quality and visitor comfort while remaining well below the energy requirements of comparable arenas in Europe.

An essential component of climate neutrality is the reduction of the CO2 footprint during the construction phase and climate-positive management in the operating phase. Using sustainable, resource-saving materials throughout planning to construction will enable us to achieve climate neutrality over the entire lifecycle of the building. Minimal use of disposable materials and fossil fuels in our operations will protect the climate and our environment.

For us, sustainability also means the integration of social factors, such as accessibility and the health and equal opportunities of all employees.

Additionally, the arena will be certified by independent experts to verify our sustainability concept. Such certifications do not only consider the energy demand of the building but also its entire lifecycle. The choice of certification system will be made later in the project lifecycle with the aim of achieving the highest category (Excellent/Gold). A collaboration with the internationally renowned architectural firm Populous takes the live indoor concert experience to a whole new level, combining outstanding architecture and excellent customer experience to create an iconic new landmark.

“The arena will make a striking architectural statement for the whole of Bavaria”

Embedded in a green, park-like area, with an impressive rhombus façade, visible from many regional landmarks, the arena will make a striking architectural statement for the whole of Bavaria. The unique customer experience begins as soon as they enter the area: the spectacular supporting structure provides an open and inviting view of the arena, inside of which an incomparable concert experience awaits them.

We commissioned world-class experts with experience in developing opera and concert halls to advise on the planning of the acoustics and visual axes, resulting in the horse-shoe-shaped seating tiers arranged at a 270° angle, giving an extensive standing room area and maximised seating tiers, guaranteeing optimal viewing conditions.

We have combined the highest standards for concert and live entertainment events whilst picking up on the local characteristics of the unique location, all the while under the umbrella of sustainability.

Our concept is therefore based on a triad in which we see the formula for success: fascinating architecture on the outside; the meticulous alignment of the arena for perfect viewing conditions and listening experiences on the inside; and something that stands above all else – the unwavering commitment to sustainability.

 


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