For more than 20 years tensARC has carried out R&D and supported the delivery of deployable structures used for major domestic and international events. Our design and engineering services have contributed to venues for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the 2012 Olympics in London, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and many other events.

Focus areas are deployable grandstand systems, including reconfigurable seating decks, access systems, seats and shade structures. All solutions are designed for easy assembly, disassembly, storage and transportation. The Clearview seating system has been deployed globally at more than 100 events.

tensARC is versatile while consistently producing the highest quality structures. From a large, motorised shade structure for the world's press to handicap access features to temporary grandstands accommodating the stamping feet of an excited crowd of 17,000, we design solutions that give spectators a safe and wonderful experience.

Our approach

tensARC’s engineers are seasoned in running productive client consultations and project delivery. There are always layers of requirements, risks and approvals to consider, and we know every job has its own special requirements. To ensure consistent progress, our design approach is to step back and look at client problems from first principles.

Supporting our design work are processes including in-depth materials research, computational finite element analysis, rapid prototyping, 3D visualisation and value engineering. In this way we develop a solution without – at any time - losing sight of the end-goal or the client's budget.

The safety of spectators is paramount and our primary consideration in design and engineering choices. Our engineers also move easily between their computer screens and the work site to ensure the smooth deployment of client solutions.

Case Study 1

Design and development of Clearview, a sustainable, deployable stadium seating system used at the 2012 London Olympics

Clearview is the world's first fully reconfigurable seating deck. A largely common set of components combine to create flat floors and a seating deck with 9 risers between 133mm and 400mm. The fit, finish and stiffness of the system means that many spectators are not even aware they are on a temporary structure. 

tensARC led the design team that developed Clearview for Arena Seating Ltd. We also provided extensive specialist engineering support to the Arena Group for the roll out of the system. This included the Queens Diamond Jubilee and four venues at the London Olympics. The main showcase for the system was the 17,000 seat Beach Volleyball venue at Horse Guards Parade, which was set in the round, open to the London skyline on one side and a 6 row cantilever on the other.  

The Clearview system meets sustainability objectives in several ways.  From a social perspective, and by design, the structure can be optimised to provide the best spectator experience across a wide variety of venues, sports and activities. From an economic perspective, reuse of the same structure at other sites produces a significant return on investment.  In the past decade, the same set of parts used at the London Olympics in 2012 have been reused many times, at various venues. The ability to store and transport the smallest number of components, within the smallest footprint, further reduces cost and environmental impact. 

Case Study 2

Motorized Grandstand Roof, 2008 Beijing Olympics

tensARC, partnering with Arena Seating Ltd, was selected to design and deliver a temporary deployable grandstand roof for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, at the equestrian venue of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  The successful design and delivery of a bespoke, attractive, robust roof took place in under 12 months. 

Specifically, we led the design, manufacture, transport and assembly of a unique structure that met a stringent combination of requirements for aesthetics, sightline restrictions and severe weather.  For example, a motorized canopy was needed so that this large shade structure could close quickly when a typhoon or cyclone threatened. 

Precision planning was even more critical than for a typical deployment, given the novel design and the geographical distance from the client.  tensARC conducted a site visit in Hong Kong before the contract award to confirm requirements and conditions.  After award, and back in the UK, tensARC led a test-build of the first module to assess the design and surface issues before work began in Hong Kong.  Later, and soon after assembly on site, tropical weather tested the structure.  One cyclone followed another but with no failure or harm.  Finally, before full deployment for use by spectators and the world’s media, tensARC went to Hong Kong for a final inspection.  A set of “wash-up” meetings were conducted at the end of the deployment, and the partnership leveraged insights for the London Olympics in 2012.


Some of the great companies we have worked with

  • Arena Ground Logo
  • barnardos color Logo
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  • National Health Service
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  • Mitie Logo
  • Red Bull Logo
  • Papa Johns Logo
  • Moss Boss Group PLC Logo
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