Wembley Park Sound Shell
Wembley Park, London, UK
Working with architect Lawrence Flanagan, we devised a bijou, movable stage to nestle in the shadow of the celebrated Wembley Stadium and provide an effective outdoor setting for acoustic performances. Consisting of a sail-like canopy fixed to a small base, the unit had to be designed to be stable both in use, and when lifted.
The mobile stage was commissioned by developer Quintain to host public performances by emerging artists on its Wembley Park development. As well as being acoustically honed to showcase unamplified gigs by solo artists or small groups, the structural design means it can be lifted in a single piece and transported to a different location with minimum effort.
Architect Flanagan Lawrence, events specialist ES Global and Arup Acoustics designed the Sound Shell stage to host performances in an outdoor setting, with Expedition helping to provide engineering input from the outset. Expedition then developed the structural design of the canopy, as well as providing support through its final design and construction stages.
Its striking form with oversized sail-shaped roof had the potential for instability, hence we were tasked with ensuring it could be safely lifted without having to be dismantled, making it truly portable to suit the evolving needs of the development site.
Located right next to Wembley Stadium, the Sound Shell can be moved around the site to host different programmes of events in a variety of locations. It has a low centre of mass to ensure it remains stable during lifting, and it can be relocated by a single crane using lifting points that are integrated into the base.
Our biggest challenges in the structural design was to resolve the flow of forces at the connection between the sail and the steel and concrete base, whilst keeping that connection hidden, and efficiently integrating the lifting points into the base structure.
After hosting a wide range of acts as part of Wembley Park Live over the summer of 2022, the stage was subsequently relocated to Samovar Space, a newly-launched public area on the site that was designed by five young LSE apprentices to be a sociable, open-air space where people could spend time without having to spend money. The Sound Shell will host events for young people throughout the year.