Singapore Sports hub; Singapore Sports hub;

Theatre and venue consulting

Designing the homes of extraordinary cultural experiences

Designing the homes of extraordinary cultural experiences

Bringing stories to life

Arup is a leading theatre and venue design and advisory practice, and the creative team behind the design of many of the world’s most beloved cultural places. We are artists, designers and architects, performers, conductors, engineers and consultants, and creative partners on projects of every kind and scale.

Our venue design work encompasses all forms of arts, culture and entertainment – theatre, art, dance, film, recording and broadcast, sports and much more – including new buildings, refurbishments, temporary venues, adaptation, and innovative conversions. Our team brings hands-on experience in facility operators and production management, as well as ongoing work as creative sound, light and multimedia designers in the field. We recognise that today’s venues must work seamlessly across the physical and digital worlds, supporting artistic creativity, equitable access and operational sustainability.

Our practice brings industry defining expertise, global cultural sensitivity and a deep belief in the importance of culture to our communities on every project ” Tateo Nakajima Tateo Nakajima FRSA FIOA Arup Fellow

We take a people-centric, highly sensorial approach to every one of our designs. Every venue is a unique integration of form, space, texture, sound, vision, and light. In performance spaces, this must allow artists to showcase every element of their talent in the most affecting ways. For visitors, an optimum experience is paramount, from their initial digital interactions at home, through their journey to the place, and in and out of the venues, ideally bought together in a way that creates delight and wonder.

Venues have functions beyond performances.  Any design must consider core requirements of both the planning and operational process and encompass a range of issues, including functionality, flexibility, logistics, sustainability, and adaptability to a changing world. With Arup you get to work with one collaborative team of arts, culture and entertainment experts across acoustics, audio-visual, lighting, experience design, digital infrastructure and operations, with a highly collaborative mindset.  

How we work


Strategic planning

Every venue project begins with some fundamental questions. The vision – of the experience to be provided and the impact it should have. Should something be built, and if so what? Who are you building it for? What performance experiences do you intend to offer? How much space do you need? How long will it take and what will it cost? How will it be governed and operated?

Our venue consultants work collaboratively with our clients to navigate this process with visioning and project definition work, market research, feasibility and needs assessments, existing conditions surveys, benchmarking, operating and revenue models, programming, site requirements/analysis/selection, project cost, project schedule, competition brief writing, design team selection, artistic programming/analysis/development. This includes integrated-industry leading thinking on sustainable development, digital masterplanning and strategy, accessible and inclusive environments.

Strategic planning

Strategic planning

While the core of our work lies in shaping the way artists and communities connect, we bring design expertise, experience, hands on operator perspectives and innovative tools to the planning of the entire venue, campus or district.

Our practice is focused on reflecting all the operational, business and technical requirements into every aspect of your project, ensuring you deliver the promise that your institution makes to the community. Design always touches the form, function and meaning of a venue, and we help clients to define their experiential goals and project their brand identity.

Once complete, you gain the foundations of a workable, commercially grounded scheme.


Venue planning and design

Venue planning and design

We bring together a practical understanding of how each area of a cultural venue needs to work with the expertise to develop designs from initial sketches to 3D models and renderings. We conduct benchmark/comparable studies, preliminary design workshops with clients and stakeholders, develop preliminary design concepts, seating layouts/sightlines and technical systems including AV, lighting, rigging, staging, adjustable acoustics etc.

Our service covers the entire design process from site and market analysis, briefing, programming and planning, visitor and user experience design, building layout, circulation and logistics and the planning of artist support spaces and technical areas. Our teams are experts in the conceptualisation and technical realisation of spaces from traditional forms, to new forms, transformable environments, and spaces supporting technology driven experiences.



Superior acoustics transform and elevate cultural experiences by stirring deep emotional connection and immersing our senses.

Our industry leading experience allow us to shape sound to deliver extraordinary experiences that inspire and enable artists, and excite audiences.  This relies on our deep understanding of the factors that drive room acoustics; form, shape, volume, materials, the importance of quiet or silence to enhance connection and create drama, and for rooms to respond to audiences and performers.

Our digital tools allow us to not only model the sounds of spaces during design, but also enable clients to experience them using our innovative SoundLab and Experiential Environments.

Learn more about Soundlab

Learn more about our acoustic services

Audio Visual


Our practice brings a deep understanding of the ways that creatives and organisations can use technology to express and connect intellectually and emotionally with audiences and their communities. We help our clients to imagine and deliver environments that are enabled digitally, where the technology is interwoven and embedded in every aspect of their projects.

We support with development of building wide infrastructure and systems design, integration and implementation. Today, venue owners and operators know how important it is to connect to the outside world, on and offline. So we ensure you’re set up for broadcast, recording and live event streaming with systems for performance, presentation, information, and immersive environments. We are also experts in digital signage and wayfinding, ensuring a flowing experience for audiences and staff.


Post completion support

Post-completion support

We understand the commercial, operational and artistic drivers that shape the cultural landscape and in particular the important challenges that face a new or renovated venue.

Our work in this area includes initial artistic operations support in venues we have designed, to collaboration on creative projects involving delivering experiences through physical and virtual environments.



Meet our people