Creating a new entertainment arena in Glasgow

The Hydro - Scottish Exhibition Car Park & Bridge - Glasgow

Currently under construction on the site of the former Queens Dock, The Hydro is Scotland’s new home for live entertainment.

Once completed, The Hydro will be capable of accommodating a wide range of concerts, conferences and events, with a capacity of 12,000.

The SECC – owners of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre – is building The Hydro, which aims to be one of the top five busiest indoor music arenas in the world alongside such iconic venues as Madison Square Gardens and the O2 Arena.

In addition to the creation of The Hydro, a brand new footbridge and multi-storey car park also form part of the development. Work on the new footbridge is now complete, whilst the car park is currently still under construction and is set to reach completion in spring 2013.

Canada Life Ltd forward funded the creation of the 1600 space car park which will provide The Hydro with vital parking provisions once the facility opens. Canada Life Ltd invested £23 million in building and leasing the car park for 35 years, whilst council-owned City Parking will manage the site over the lifetime of the lease.

Michael White, Canada Life, commented:

“We are delighted to be working with SEC and Glasgow City Council in funding the expansion of facilities and the continued success of the SECC.

“We believe this method of funding is an innovation for private finance to work within the public sector and yet leaves the intrinsic real estate value with the council. We hope to complete many more similar projects.”

The Hydro - Scottish Exhibition Car Park & Bridge - Glasgow

CTS were the structural engineers, manufacturers and installers of the prominent new pedestrian link bridge, which is situated close to the Clyde waterfront. The structure forms the crossing point between the SECC and the multi-storey car park and takes the form of a lenticular truss – its main members resembling a lens – with open sides and roof cladding overhead.

The new bridge spans the three-lane carriageway known as Congress Way and has provisions to span to Clyde Fastlink and hotel service areas in the future.

Commenting on the new link bridge, CTS Director, Sally Preston, said:

“CTS are specialists in both design and manufacture; this ensures that our designs are always developed to ensure the most effective fabrication solution.

“The tender design for the scheme was already developed prior to our involvement but upon review it became clear that CTS’s expertise could offer substantial savings to the scheme and we offered a redesigned solution with the same overall form.

“We could see that there was an opportunity to offer value and we are delighted we could provide the client with a considerable saving.”

CTS worked closely with SCC to establish and maintain the client aspirations and aesthetic goals while offering savings in the region of 40%. Careful coordination with SCC designers enabled the characteristics and lines of the rest of the scheme to continue through the bridge, creating a unified development.

Sally Preston, added:

“Not only did this offer direct savings to the scheme but our streamlining of material offered a reduction of around 20T of steel, simplifying the installation considerably. By being involved from inception to completion, offering design, manufacture and installation CTS can provide a service which offers both value and quality and avoids ‘over designed’ components.”

Work on The Hydro and the associated multi-storey car park continues, with The Hydro open to the public in late 2013.

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