It’s exciting times at Acivico HQ, in the last few days the Midlands own premier international conference and leisure venue the NEC has revealed the details of its extensive £4.5 million transformation which is set for completion in late August…

It’s no small celebration that our Acivico architectural experts have been at the heart of the project by supplying concept designs for the stunning, technically innovative pyramid formations which will completely change the look and feel of the iconic Birmingham based venue.

The vision was for these shapes to be the canvas for colourful and dramatic technical displays creating a dynamic and engaging environment for the 7 million annual visitors to the campus.

… and the journey has been epic, using state of the art membrane technology and a joyful blend of design, manufacturing and construction mastery, work is now underway for the dream to be made reality using the quality expertise of contractors SPV cladding and base structures and Tony Hogg structural design.

We have brought these images to life using advanced graphic visualisation technology. Join us on a flight through the pyramids here >>>>>

The inside architectural story;

The inside architectural story

The team met with the NEC board back in 2017 and were awarded the prestigious job based on a proven track record in innovation, keeping promises to stick to urgent deadlines and the vision to foray into the use of new and imaginative materials and construction techniques. Nothing like this had been designed before on such a limited budget but we brought our ‘A’ game…

Using the best design software available, our architect developed 3 gigantic trapezoidal shapes, each the size of a three story house which when randomly repeated formed a network of 37 to reinvent and give life to the flat facades on 5 halls of the complex.

The Acivico way;

Senior architect Alan McBeth has been delighted with the results of his unique and original modernisation and has relished the opportunity to work on this high profile landmark project with such a great team. He describes his experience as;

‘A very happy project with a happy team and a happy client – A perfect storm in reverse!…

…the scale of this work has to be seen to be appreciated but it is very adaptable. I would love the opportunity to continue this story by extending and modifying this design treatment to other buildings. There is no doubt this technique can be adapted to give an economical facelift to large, aging buildings in need of some TLC.”

For enquiries on our architectural service please contact Chris Hall;  07548 712955 /

Let’s get technical; the facts and figures;

  • The project features a complete facelift to all elevations of Hall 1,2,3,3A,4 and 5 of the National Exhibition Centre  originally constructed in 1976.
  • The building facades are very large with Hall 5 alone being 210m long x 19m high
  • Considerable research was done to identify the best design solution using different types of membrane fabrics that would work well with 3D geometric backlit shapes.
  • International PR and advertising firm McCann designed the unique vector graphics boulder pattern projected behind the pyramids.
  • The pyramids are covered in a printed polyester fabric with an ultra violet acrylic protection layer with at least a 10 year no fade lifespan. This process was  carried out by a specialist in Holland – the only company in the world who could do it.
  • There challenge was to design something that looks as good at night as during the day as many of the events around the NEC occur during the evening.

Statistics – Front of House

  • There are 37 trapezoidal 5m wide translucent shapes the size of 3 storey houses.
  • Each trapezoid has 3 powerful led floodlights that are programmable to produce any colour you like include a sonic interface.
  • 62 x 5m wide graphic panels – 10m high each
  • Statistics – Back  of House
  • 12277 m² of specially designed metal cladding (known as zebra cladding) almost 3 football pitches worth .
  • Project Value –  £4.5m by negotiated tendering.