Completed in 1997, two years after its inception, the Armadillo sits immediately opposite the SECC. It is perhaps unique out of all of Glasgow’s buildings for having appeared on an episode of The Simpsons entitled Springfield’s Got Talent, with the cartoon parodying Susan Boyle’s infamous audition.
Designed by renowned Manchurian architect Sir Norman Foster, it is one of Glasgow’s most iconic buildings. His inspiration was not the Sydney Opera House, but rather he imagined it as the interlocking hulls of a ship, referencing the proud shipbuilding history of the Clyde. The main auditorium is capable of seating 3000 people over its three floors, with other, smaller conference and break out rooms as well.
The success of the auditorium has led to another, the Scottish Hydro Arena, to be constructed close by, due for completion summer 2013. The £50 million concert arena was also designed by Foster & Partners. In keeping with nicknames, that building, simply known as The Hydro, has been dubbed “The Oyster.”