National Indoor Arena Birmingham, NIA Building, Architect, Development, Design

NIA Birmingham, Midlands : National Indoor Arena

NIA Building, West Midlands design by Broadway Malyan, England, UK

page updated 7 Nov 2016 with new photos ; 11 Dec 2014

National Indoor Arena Birmingham

Location: Birmingham, West Midlands, England, UK

Architects: Broadway Malyan

Bublé officially launches Broadway Malyan-designed ‘Barclaycard Arena’

Following a substantial eighteen month, £26 million redevelopment, the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, UK, has been officially launched as the Barclaycard Arena – with architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan having delivered architecture, landscape architecture and interior design services.

Barclaycard Arena

With state-of-the-art facilities, improvements including improved seating, a fast payment system and a stunning façade, the Barclaycard Arena is a world-class venue in the heart of Birmingham, offering a world class customer experience.

Barclaycard Arena

Thousands attended the launch of the Barclaycard Arena, which saw a sell-out show from multi-platinum Grammy award winner Michael Bublé, who opened the curtain on a new generation for the Arena by performing to a crowd of almost 16,000 fans, including stars of sport and entertainment.

The most dramatic element of the refurbishment is the brand new glass façade overlooking the Brindleyplace canal side development, which includes a dramatic LCD ‘wonderwall’, distinctive copper fins and iconic Sky Needles – all of which create a dynamic sense of arrival for visitors and a focal point in the centre of Birmingham.

Barclaycard Arena

All areas of the Arena have been upgraded in the redevelopment – from the front of house through to the backstage – adding 5,926 m² of pre/post show space into the 13,437 m² of redevelopment.

Birmingham-based Neil Rose, Director at Broadway Malyan said: “Working in close partnership with our client, the NEC Group, our expert design team has delivered a new world-class venue in the Barclaycard Arena.

Barclaycard Arena

“By cloaking the Arena’s canal-side elevation with an elegant glass façade, which affords four storeys of new bars and restaurants dramatic views over the city, we have been able to project the excitement of the bustling activity going on inside the venue.

“’The official launch will see the project joining our portfolio of high-profile and completed schemes in Birmingham – which includes Bournville College and Edgbaston Stadium – with our team also currently delivering the new Adagio apart hotel in the Beorma Quarter, Digbeth.”

Earlier in the year Broadway Malyan celebrated the completion of the 25,000-seat ‘Hassa Bin Zayed Stadium’ in Al Ain, UAE, which is part of a wider 1.5m square foot mixed use development masterplanned and designed by the practice, as well as the iconic 9,000-seat National Gymnastics Arena in Azerbaijan.

Barclaycard Arena

NIA Birmingham images / information from Broadway Malyan

15 Dec 2011

National Indoor Arena Birmingham Building


Architects: Broadway Malyan


NIA Birmingham

The National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham’s city centre has unveiled the next generation of arena, as it gets set to undergo a £20.6 million transformation.

The modernisation of the NIA aims to take advantage of its unique location on the city’s canal side and will feature a new showcase entrance straight from Brindleyplace into the arena, with large glazed views over the water and the city.

NIA Birmingham National Indoor Arena Birmingham
images from architects

The work is set to get underway in late 2012 and will include improved facilities and a much greater emphasis on both the pre and post show experience. The flow within the venue will be made much easier, increasing the ease of access and comfort for promoters, artists and visitors to the building. Coupled with this is the new entrance, which will secure the venue as a focal point for the city.

The NIA has been a huge draw for visitors to Birmingham since it was officially opened in 1991 by Olympic athlete Linford Christie; the flexible arena has since gained a global reputation for world-class sports, headline comedy and music, and a diverse range of crowd-pleasing live entertainment. This year it hosted the FIG Trampoline and Tumbling World Championships, the qualifying event for the discipline ahead of the London 2012 Olympics and the first time the event has been held in the UK since 1967. This year also saw Disney on Ice come to the Arena twice and welcomed internationally renowned artists including Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Kings of Leon.

The improvement work at the venue, which has not been refurbished since its opening, is key to continuing its long-term success of the venue. The new design includes further opportunities for retail units with an extra 5,926 m² of pre and post show space added to the 7,500 m² of refurbishment that will take place, ensuring that the new NIA maintains its position as a destination to visit in Birmingham city centre.

Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, says:
“The NIA is already one of the central features in our world-class events and conferencing offer, as well as a vital asset for our economy generating £150million in economic benefit, and supporting around 2,500 jobs in the wider economy. Clearly, if we are to retain and grow our reputation as an events city we need to invest in the future.

“I am delighted that we are able to innovate and invest in infrastructure, at a time when other cities might have to curtail their development plans. By integrating the redevelopment into our Big City Plan we will seek to maximise the impact of this very exciting new development.”

Paul Thandi, CEO of the NEC Group, says:
“We are proud to unveil the new look for the NIA venue alongside the plans that we have to turn it into the next generation of arena, as we position the venue as a real focal point for live entertainment.

The investment in the NIA represents not only a significant modernisation of the site to create an exciting and iconic contemporary venue, it also offers the chance to fulfil the ambitions of the city to be the place to visit for first-class facilities and the world’s best performers.”

Phil Mead, MD of NEC Group Arenas, says:
“Birmingham is currently abuzz with redevelopment as part of the Big City Plan. It is a very exciting time for the city and we are delighted that today’s announcement takes our arena another step forward in its part of the transformation.

“As well as improving the facility for performers and promoters, developing the experience for our customers is also top of the agenda. Our venue of the future will feature a new look and feel on the concourse with more choice for visitors in terms of food, beverage and merchandising.
“The plans will further strengthen the venue’s success in attracting the world’s leading indoor sports events, live shows and concerts.”

Aidan Ridyard, Director at Broadway Malyan, adds:
“The National Indoor Arena is a project defined by its potential. It is a truly public venue, hosting a remarkable diversity of performance, sports and entertainment, which brings Birmingham into the consciousness of millions of people around the world. To be chosen to redefine the architectural vision for such a great institution is an honour.

We are genuinely excited at the opportunity of beginning the reinvention of this pivotal section of Birmingham’s waterfront fabric and hope to create a space which embraces this remarkable location whilst visually celebrating the venue’s innate vitality. We see the new NIA as a waterfront window onto the excitement of the entertainment within and the heritage of our city surrounding it.”

NIA Birmingham – links:

NIA Birmingham – Background Information

• The National Indoor Arena (NIA) is one of the busiest, large scale indoor sporting and entertainment venues in Europe. Since opening in 1991, it has welcomed visitors to over 30 different sports and an extensive variety of entertainment and music. Everything from Oasis, Coldplay, Sir Cliff Richard and Kings of Leon, to Disney on Ice and Cirque du Soleil.
• The NIA has also hosted a range of international sporting events, including the World Trampolining and Tumbling Championships and European Gymnastics Championships. With its premier indoor athletics track, it has also hosted the Aviva Grand Prix and World Indoor Athletics.
• The multi-purpose arena is as flexible as they come – it can stage concerts, entertainment spectaculars, business conferences and exhibitions. The adaptable format of the NIA Academy creates a more intimate theatre-style auditorium to accommodate smaller concerts, ballet as well as comedy and theatre.
• Sitting in the centre of the city, the NIA is the beating heart of Birmingham and has access to all major transport methods. In addition to three central train stations and city centre bus routes, there are also over 2,000 NIA car parking spaces with additional access to nearby city centre car parks.
• For an even greater experience at the NIA, visitors can upgrade to an amplify package and enjoy three levels of hospitality; from drinks and a full dining package, to one of the unique Showcubes. Amplify members also get access to priority booking and opportunities to be part of fantastic events at the NIA. For more information, visit

NIA Birmingham images / information from Broadway Malyan

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