Magazine London is a new event space for the capital. This purpose-built destination is the largest of its kind in London, offering a striking blank canvas for brands and businesses to interact with global and local audiences. The venue is defined by a simple architectural form, offering clean and functional spaces that provide a means for large-scale creative expression. The project is a collaboration between Venue Lab (innovative space creators), Broadwick Live (ticketed culture partner), Vibration Design and Production (technical production specialists), Moving Venue (catering experts) and Knight Dragon (property developers).
The venue was designed by world-renowned architects Nissen Richards Studio, whose impressive portfolio includes, Printworks London, National Waterways Museum in Gloucester and the British Museum’s Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia.
Speaking to PREMIER CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE, Jim Richards, Director of architect Nissen Richards Studio, said: “Essentially our brief was to get 3,000 people standing within the main venue and be able to seat 1,300 at a dinner style event. This is a temporary building with a life expectancy of about 10-12 years so we looked at using industrial building technology such as a steel portal frames, galvanised rails and profiled steel cladding for the building’s construction.”
Magazine boasts over 3,200sqm of versatile interior space for up to 3,000 people and can extend to accommodate a further 7,000 people across the venue’s outdoor showground. Access is also available to The Pylon, a site inspired by the famous sculpture by Alex Chinneck, which stands as a key feature of the surrounding area. Magazine London encapsulates a flexible and inspiring environment, providing an unrivalled landscape for brand events, awards, dinners, conferences, exhibitions, fashion, the arts and ticketed culture.
Guests arrive into Space 1 which features a floor-to-ceiling glass window that provides unbroken views of the River Thames, the Canary Wharf skyline and The Showground. Guests can also take in these unrivalled views of the landscape by venturing outside onto The Terrace and into The Yard, areas designed to leave a lasting impression.
Jim said: “The client had the desire for a big, black box and we have certainly delivered a big, black box. The exposed, polished concrete floor is a great feature and is something we are very happy with. I think that will feel very raw alongside the overall industrial feel of the space. The steel frame is also a unique design. Instead of using a portal frame, the steelwork sub-contractor used a tapered steel column and a three pitched roof structure, which gives a nice rounded feel to the internal ridge line. The external sign is also great. Devised by branding specialists Carter Studio, it is backlit with the brand name in black so when that’s on at night it glows and looks great.”
The interior fit-out comprises over 2,100 OSB boards to bring a warmer wall finish to the warehouse-style design of the building. In total, the project used 13.96 miles of timber, as well as 149,713 screws and 757.5 litres of paint to stain the venue in a specific shade of black; RAL9005. This black palette is also mirrored in the venue’s polished concrete floor, steel skeleton, production truss and even the outdoor, limestone patio to achieve a unified finish.
Space 1 boasts an impressive eight-metre-high ceiling, polished concrete floors and two bare steel stairways that lead to the upper mezzanine level. Space 1 is ideal as an area for informal catering, pre-dinner drinks and as exhibition or break-out space.
Space 2 is the largest internal space at Magazine London; its vast walls are stained black allowing for a striking backdrop in which to elevate a brand and/or content against. This main space also features an eight-metre-high ceiling, polished concrete floors and clear sight lines through the space that provide an adaptable and versatile environment in which to host an event. Space 2 features removable staging infrastructure and provides direct vehicle access for automotive launches and displays. It is ideal for conferences, award ceremonies, exhibitions and brand events.
Both Mezzanines in the venue are accessible via two steel staircases in Space 1 and can be utilised as VIP areas or as overflow for higher guest numbers; they can also operate as break-out, seminar and exhibition space. Mezzanine 2 overlooks both spaces and provides access to the Balcony, an intimate area with great views across the Thames to Canary Wharf beyond.
The Showground at Magazine London has an outdoor capacity of up to 7,000 people and is surrounded by panoramic views of the Canary Wharf cityscape, providing a remarkable backdrop that is unprecedented in London. This extensive outdoor land offers boundless opportunities for product launches, summer parties, vehicle displays, corporate team away days, large installations, additional structures and cultural ticketed partnerships. It can also be utilised as an area for activations that require an outdoor stunt or finale, such as firework displays.
Inspired by, and home to the famous sculpture by British artist Alex Chinneck, The Pylon site is located by the venue and provides the option for additional outdoor space for events. The installation, titled ‘A Bullet from a Shooting Star,’ resembles an upside-down electricity pylon, as if the structure has been shot out of the sky and into the earth. Chinneck’s inspiration for the piece was drawn from the industrial structures that dock the River Thames. Constructed at 35 metres tall and illuminated at night, the steel structure remains a prominent beacon for those travelling through and visiting Greenwich Peninsula.
Jim concluded: “This project has been a bit of a game changer for us really, because even though we have been involved in music focused venues previously, these have been designed within existing structures and spaces. This is our first new build multi-use event space, of which not many are being constructed at the moment, so it has moved us into that field and is giving us that experience, which we are taking forward on our the ’Clwb Ifor Bach’ project in Cardiff. We’re looking forward to seeing all the great variety of events and concerts that will be hosted here.”