AFL Architects | Bonus Arena Hull
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Connexin Live

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A regenerative development central to Hull’s tenure as City of Culture 2017, with community and legacy at its heart.

The Bonus Arena (now Connexin Live) is a landmark destination that adds to the vibrancy and viability of Hull city centre. It is the first UK facility of its type and size to deliver a mixed programme of entertainment, conference, exhibition and banqueting using the same space, using retractable seating in the ground and upper tiers, hydraulic raising stage and a sliding acoustic wall. This venue model is already inspiring similar developments across the country.

Full time and part time jobs created
Visitors in first year
Increased sales for surrounding food outlets

The brief emphasised Hull City Council’s aspirations for regenerating this site and building on Hull’s musical heritage

The Bonus Arena showcases Hull’s ambitions to make the most of its City of Culture legacy.

The development reflects a large and crucial investment, and as such has been the subject of extensive community consultation and media interest throughout the life of the project. Overall, feedback is very positive and supports the approach of sizing the venue sustainably, so that its economic benefits far outweigh the construction and operational costs.

"Their experience of spectator venues, designing in flexibility, value added design and knowledge of BIM were of the highest calibre. The Bonus Arena has turned out to exceed all expectations and we would not hesitate in recommending AFL Architects for future projects of this nature."
Garry Taylor - City Manager, Major Projects and Infrastructure, Hull City Council

The 4,000 capacity arena can be seamlessly transformed into eight different modes.

Retractable seating in the ground and upper tiers, a sliding acoustic wall and adaptable stage units allow staff to create an environment suitable for any event.

Form follows function: the warm golden bullnose envelops the auditorium. Externally, it welcomes visitors to this key gateway into the city, guiding them inside the building and easing wayfinding throughout the main concourse.

Since opening, the Bonus Arena has hosted a number of sporting events from the Seniors Snooker Championships to the Harlem Globetrotters, awards banquets, conferences, and a number of acts such as George Ezra, Noel Gallagher, and the Kaiser Chiefs.

An Inside Look

Event modes
Design Awards in 2019
Events in first year

The arena has also contributed to the 2013 City Plan, which has enabled employment in Hull to be the highest on record and unemployment at the lowest in over a decade.

The public realm, with generous hard and soft landscaped plazas, further strengthens the important links between the modern city centre, the Old Town and the Waterfront, acting as a catalyst for further economic activity in the area.

The Bonus Arena is a great example of the city having found a new degree of confidence and self-belief, helping its re-positioning as a destination for investment and regeneration initiatives.

"We knew the Bonus Arena would be special, but it has far exceeded our expectations. The awards its won, the diversity of events it has hosted, and the way in which the Hull community has embraced it is testimony to that. We’re very pleased and look forward to future events."
Marcel Ridyard, AFL Architects

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