Exterior Rainscreen - ABBA Arena

7000m2 larch screen

7000m2 larch screen

Project Year


Xylotek Role

Geometry Definition, Technical Design, Realisation, Fabrication Installation

Project Team

Architect: Stufish // Project engineer: Atelier One // Main contractor: ES Global // Engineer for rainscreen: Corbett & Tasker

Photo Credits

Photos: Martin Phelps // Render: Stufish


The ABBA Arena rainscreen is a demountable exterior timber screen that envelops the hexagonal-plan Arena building constructed for the Abba Voyage show in London. The screen covering 7000 sqm consists of 1400 finger-jointed larch fins with a total length of about 15km. It also incorporates an insect mesh and is factory fire treated and stained with an accelerated ageing oil to homogenise the timber as it ages naturally towards silver grey. 

Xylotek were responsible for the technical design of the screen, its fabrication and erection.

The larch was sourced from PiveteauBois, in elements up to 15m long. Xylotek preassembled in Bristol into 204 independent panels, and each was optimised for road transport to the site and future relocation of the theatre.

A pair of assembly jigs were developed that allowed the varying splay angles for each panel to be accurately created at the production rate required by the tight project programme.

The installation was carried out by Xylotek in the winter of 2021, requiring well-considered crane lift methods to raise the panels – especially those on the underslung parts of the screen.

The Arena in Stratford, London, hosts the virtual ABBA Voyage concerts and is designed to be demountable for future relocation. Xylotek also carried out the production of the internal auditorium in cross-laminated timber.

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