3XN has utilised Accoya for the design of Copenhagen’s multi-use stadium, The Royal Arena

Designed and created by Danish architecture firm 3XN, the Royal Arena project in the historic city of Copenhagen opened earlier this year and has since been awarded the ‘Jury Winner’ in the Sport and Recreation category at this year’s Architizer A+.



oyal Arena is a multi-use indoor arena in Ørestad Syd, a new development in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark. The ground was broken for construction on 26th June 2013 and the arena opened in February this year.

In order to ensure the building was built as envisaged, Accoya – a world-leading, high-performance sustainable wood – was specified as the material of choice to build the multi-purpose leisure stadium with a distinct Nordic identity.

An elegant aesthetic

Built in an urban district of the Danish capital city, this contemporary arena is of a striking contrast to the city centre’s cobbled streets. With Accoya selected for its high ‘green’ credentials and high levels of durability, approximately 250m³ of the wood was employed to create the entire facade of the arena. With the ability to seat 12,500 people, and a further capacity for 15,000 standing, the durability and sustainability factors of Accoya fell in line with the environmental principles of 3XN – therefore making it the ideal material for the project. Furthermore, Accoya was chosen due to the refined, elegant aesthetic the material offers when in a finished state, giving the building an overall attractive and bespoke appearance.


With the aim in mind for the award-winning Royal Arena to a host a variety of international events in the performing arts field, competitive sport matches and entertainment concerts, 3XN built the arena to last and to stand the test of time. As a complementary decorative element, 3XN designed ‘fins’ to give the building a unique wave-like semi-transparent style. Made from a variety of materials, including Accoya, the combination of materials helps to convey textural elements and to communicate a sense of elegance through the wave-like design.

A widely-recognised material

With Accoya recognised worldwide for its high environmental credibility, the brand also boasts its ecological and conservational status via the renowned Swan label. Established in 1989, the Swan Ecolabel was created by the Nordic Council of Ministers in order to provide a consistent environmental labelling scheme that would contribute to a sustainable consumption. This particular label is associated with products and services that have minimal impact on the environment and human health and wellbeing. The Swan label is a comprehensive ecolabel which takes into consideration the whole lifecycle of the product and its related environmental issues. With Accoya being a Cradle to Cradle product and therefore carbon-negative with no waste, its characteristics are very much in line with the Swan label beliefs. With Accoya being fully reusable and recyclable, its environmental advantages are unrivalled and far outweigh alternative products such as slow-growing, unsustainable hardwoods.

Sustainable and durable

Jan Ammundesen, a Senior Partner with 3XN Architects, stated that “durability and aesthetics were key issues driving the material selection” for the fins on the new arena. Aiding in creating a dynamic and interesting pattern, it was recognised that Accoya would contribute to a warm and natural appearance.

Contributing to urbanisation and encouraging a sense of community, Head of Marketing for Accsys Group, Laura Keily, praised the Royal Arena project thanks to its sustainable principles at its heart as well as reducing its carbon footprint. Also stating that “the use of Accoya has satisfied the requirements for a highly durable yet eco-friendly material”, the project is an impressive and inspiring development which expresses Scandinavian design traditions through quality and functionality.

Manufactured using a proprietary acetylation process, Accoya wood is one of the most superior wood products on the market today. Exceeding the high-quality and aesthetic attributes of tropical hardwoods, Accoya wood also boasts excellent environmental credentials by using wood sources from FSC-certified sustainable forests and is also Cradle to Cradle ‘Gold’ certified.

Share this article

Login to post comments

About us

Future Constructor & Architect is a specification platform for architects and building contractors, which focuses on top-end domestic and commercial developments.

As well as timely industry comment and legislation updates, the magazine covers recent projects and reviews the latest sustainable building products on the market. Subscribe here.

Privacy policy

Latest updates


Sign up below to receive monthly construction, architecture and product updates from FC&A via email: