Frieze Art Fair

  • Date: 2012 – 2017
  • Venue: Randall's Island
  • Size: 100,000+

The Frieze Art Fair is an annual event along New York City’s Hudson River that features over two-hundred of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries and purchasable artwork from over a thousand of the world’s leading artists. As a vendor for the esteemed event, Arena Americas designs custom structures in an effort to bring together the most dynamic and forward-thinking galleries of today.

With precious, one-of-a-kind masterpieces inside as well as holding critically acclaimed activities such as talks, performances, and new artist commissions, the tent must be weatherproof and climate-controlled.

In 2012, Arena Americas constructed a distinct serpentine structure overlooking the East River, for which Arena Americas won two Guinness Book of World Records for the Largest Single Unit Marquee and the Largest Temporary Stage Ever Installed. Arena Americas has installed this structure every year since the Frieze Art Fair’s 2012 inaugural event.

The curved tent concept – which included various dining spaces – was developed using six 50m x 60m (164’ x 197’) standard clearspan structures attached by triangle-shaped wedges. The wedges were created with purlins (connector pieces between trusses) of varying lengths, from just 2.5’ at the narrow end to a standard 5m (16.5’) bay at the wide end. To give the space a unique look, Arena Americas designed and manufactured ninety fabric “fingers” that extended from each end of the structure. Over 18,000 Bil-Jax multi-stage flooring pieces were used to level the large structure over the sloping elevation. The structure was staked in most places and where staking was prohibited, each leg was weighted with over 10,000 pounds of ballast.

In 2018, event producers requested a new tent configuration, for which Arena Americas designers and project managers developed a new 50m wide, 230,000 square feet clearspan tent structure to house the galleries and esteemed activities. The massive structure was installed on 320,000 square feet of level scaffold flooring and outfitted with glass wall, hard wall, double doors, and HVAC. Arena Americas carefully coordinated the delivery of 80 semi-loads of equipment during the installation of the project.


The team at Arena did an incredible job and were an absolute pleasure to work with. Their professionalism, efficiency and endless good humor was evident at all times during both the challenging year of planning and the mammoth build/breakdown period.