Case Study

Royal Arena World-Class Multi-Purpose Venue and Urban Growth Stimulator

Copenhagen, Denmark

The Challenge

To create a flexible multi-use arena that attracts local and international spectators while sparking urban development around Copenhagen’s Orestad neighborhood.

The Design Solution

The design team of Royal Arena, 3XN in collaboration with HKS, embraced the challenge to create a world-class sports venue that would be welcomed to Copenhagen as good neighbor. Designers used two primary elements – a plinth and a bowl – to achieve this goal. The plinth absorbs the movements of guests through small plazas, pockets and other areas that help the building seem warm and intimate. The design of the bowl, meanwhile, provides clear sight lines with easy loading, which makes for seamless and cost-effective performances. Glass topped by Accoya wooden fins create a wave pattern that provides natural light and transparency for those both inside and outside the arena, adding to the desired feeling of warmth and openness, as well as the Nordic look of the structure. In addition, the Accoya is fully reusable and recyclable, enhancing the sustainability of the 12,500-seat arena.

The Design Impact

The first event at Royal Arena was a Metallica concert in 2017. Rod Stewart also graced the stage and other world-class artists are scheduled to perform there as well, including Justin Timberlake and comedian Kevin Hart. The 2018 Ice Hockey World Championship was held there and the venue will be one of several sites hosting the 2019 World Men’s Handball Championship.

Project Features

  • 322,917 square feet (29,999 sm)
  • 12,000 seats (expandable to 15,000)
  • 1,500 club seats
  • 25 suites
  • Private club lounge and dining
  • Locker rooms
  • Office space


  • 2017 A+ Award, Sport and Recreation, Stadium/Arena, Architizer A+ Awards