Designing places for people

Our architects and urban designers create places that serve and represent the people who use them.

From libraries, art galleries and museums to opera houses, convention centres and public plazas, we believe civic architecture should always set out to make a positive contribution, be it culturally, socially or economically.

The IMX project site lies within the world-class Hongqiao Transportation Hub, which connects the airport, high speed rail and Shanghai public transit system.

The winning Atkins concept architecturally expresses international trade and creates places and spaces where people exchange goods and ideas, thus creating optimal opportunities for the IMX brand to create wealth. The contract will also see Atkins develop its iconic architectural designs for the IMX exhibition centre and supporting commercial development covering approximately 150,000 square metres. All buildings within the Atkins masterplan have been designed to meet or exceed China’s three-star Green Building Standard.


Dubai Opera will be unique for a venue of its size, in that it will have the ability to convert into three modes; from a theatre into a concert hall and into a ‘flat floor’ form, offering 2000 m² of space for events such as exhibitions and gala events.

What makes Dubai Opera so important is the new offering it will bring to residents and visitors of the city. It will become a hub for cultural activity, entertainment and artistic expression, while playing its part in creating a vibrant local community. 

Dubai Opera aims to transform the emirate’s cultural footprint and establish the city as a part of the elite global theatre circuit – providing a vital new draw for the tourist industry – a cornerstone of Dubai’s economy.

Dubai Opera opened on 31st of August 2016 with a sold out performance by Placido Domingo.

Go here to read more about the design and the opening.

Middle East & Africa, North America,

The client will be developing the Northstar Delta site to create a new landmark - Northstar Changsha Centre - on behalf of the government for the city of Changsha, and has appointed Atkins to provide architecture design services for this development.

The Centre will integrate residential, cultural, retail and commercial space of the riverside area to create a central public space for activities. This will include a supertall 400 metre landmark office tower, regional convention centre, department stores, a five-star hotel and serviced apartments. The project will cover a floor area of 406,000 sq.m.

Architecture hub


Exhibition Building Vietnam is a public building which serves as a dialog between the city planning department and the local citizens through exhibitions of the past, the present and the vision for the future of the city.  Whilst its unique peninsular location gestures the beginning of city expansion, the iconic design signifies its status as the gateway to the east.

Atkins carried out architectural design and landscape design on the project.


The architect of the Bahrain National Theatre, AS.Architecture-Studio, appointed Atkins to provide the “Architect of Record” services, including detailed architectural design, full engineering services and site-wide supervision to its initial concept design of Bahrain’s new National Theatre. Atkins also provided the landscape architecture and public realm setting for what is now a central entertainment venue for Bahrain.

AS retained the interior design of the main 1,000+ seat theatre and the smaller 150 seat flexible auditorium. The facility has the capacity to stage dramas, small symphony concerts, conferences and varied cultural events.

Features demanded within the design included a clear glazed reception foyer, a jewelled skin for the central theatre and sweeping curved stairs rising to the upper galleries.

Transparency has been possible partly thanks to the 17,000m over sailing and woven brise soleil that also provides external exhibition space adjacent to the enhanced lagoons. This is supported on slender steel columns, protected by concrete filling. The all glass wall assembly, is the first in the Middle East to feature glass fins devoid of all visible fixings, offering a completely concealed assembly that enhances this crystal element.