Case Studies

Broadgate Arena

2011 - 2012

Project Director
Maximo Martinez

M3, Arup Associates

British Land

Pedestrian movement modelling

Demonstrating a desire line across the Arena and low levels of movement at he lower ground level (blue areas towards the centre of the circular Arena space).

Public space design advice using an ‘agent-based’ pedestrian movement model to provide detailed evaluation of design options.

The opportunity

Broadgate Arena is one of the most successful open spaces in the City of London, attracting people working within the Broadgate Estate as well as those from the surrounding area. However, despite its popularity, the retail and catering units around the Arena were considered to be performing below their true potential. British Land appointed Arup Associates to redesign the Arena to enhance both its commercial success and social conviviality.

Our contribution

Space Syntax has been involved in the planning and design of the Broadgate Estate since its earliest phases in the late 1980s. In this latest piece of work, we were asked to provide design advice and supporting evidence to help in the development of designs for the Arena, with a particular focus on pedestrian circulation and access to the retail elements.

One of the key design questions was how to bring people into the commercial spaces at the lower ground level of the Arena. Working with Arup Associates, Space Syntax analysed emerging design options using Agent Modelling Software that simulates fine-grained movement flows. The analysis demonstrated key desire lines, pinch points and design opportunities to address these. Our work was used to optimise the design proposals and enhance lower ground access.

Our evidence-based design assessment supported the Client’s stakeholder engagement and the planning application process.

The outcome

Planning approval for the design proposals was granted in 2012.

Further information

Space Syntax Consulting page
Details of our services supporting public & private sector clients in the creation of urban planning & building design strategies.

Agent Simulation Model for the proposed scheme

Demonstrating that the redesigned and lowered Arena will provide improved access to surrounding retail units on the lower ground level without overwhelming these more narrow spaces.

Agent Simulation Model for the proposed scheme when the Arena is used for an event

Demonstrating the rerouting of movement towards the edge of the Arena during an event.

View of the redesigned Arena