A distinctly drum-shaped, 20,000-capacity arena designed by the stadia specialists at Populous will anchor a newly realized swath of public parkland on the outskirts of Munich. The future arena site is located directly next to LabCampus, a sprawling technology and innovation center, and also not too far from the Bavarian capital city’s airport, which ranks as the second-busiest in Germany. Known as MUCcc (Multifunctional Concert and Congress Center), the $326 million (€300 million) project is being built as Germany’s first-ever climate-neutral arena and will host live musical performances, conventions, and other large-scale events.
Earlier this week, Freising City Council gave its full blessing to the arena plan, and following that, Populous was formally announced as the project architect, having won a multi-stage design competition for the highly anticipated development. Bavaria-based developer SWMUNICH Real Estate GmbH is leading the privately financed MUCcc project and will operate the facility once it is completed. A construction start date has not yet been announced; according to the project website, the aim is to open the within the next five years.
Design highlights of the park-flanked MUCcc Arena— a “compact, efficient, and visually stunning” facility per Populous associate principal Sin-Jae Yoo—include a series of support structures encircling the exterior of the round volume that reference the lozenge shape found in the Bavarian flag. This, as Populous noted in its announcement, “instantly and clearly associates the arena with the south of Germany and creates a high recognition factor.” Inside, the arena’s steeply raked seating is arranged in a 270-degree horseshoe shape, which “clearly places the focus on the multifunctional stage,” according to the firm.
Populous noted that there are no comparable modern event venues in the greater Munich metropolitan area of a similar size, ensuring that the new arena, which is set to feature state-of-the art acoustic design and hospitality elements, will be a major regional destination. (The airport-adjacent location is key.)
Referring to the project as Germany’s “most sustainable concert arena,” Gert Waltenbauer, director of SWMUNICH, noted in a statement that: “The arena will help to make the Munich metropolitan region and the state of Bavaria future-proof and internationally competitive in the event sector.”
“The design for MUCcc Arena places people at its heart, delivering a unique and immersive visitor experience, as well as showcasing the very latest in sustainable design methods,” added Declan Sharkey, lead architect of the project and senior principal at Populous. “The project will create a new cultural centre for Munich and the wider Bavarian region to rival the best live entertainment venues in the world.”
As for the arena’s previously mentioned climate-neutral status, the project’s ambitious sustainability bona fides include sizable solar arrays located on both the roof of the structure and elsewhere around the site, as well as the potential for geothermal energy and district heating to ensure that all energy consumed by the facility will be generated and supplied on site. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals will provide the framework for the arena’s sustainability and climate strategy, and, according to Populous, the project will be “certified according to an internationally recognized sustainability system, so that achievement of the targets can be objectively evaluated and transparently measured.”
Other major indoor arenas in and around Munich include Olympiahalle and the Audi Dome, both of which were initially built as major venues for the 1972 Summer Olympics, and several smaller multi-use venue that are primarily used for ice hockey. The grand dame of Bavarian stadia, however, is the Herzog & de Meuron–designed Allianz Arena, a major soccer stadium that ranks as the second-largest facility of its kind in Germany behind Westfalenstadion in Dortmund.