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Zaha Hadid Architects, Sweco and Tredje Natur unveil design for new Aarhus Stadium in Denmark
Denmark Architecture News - Dec 19, 2022 - 13:52 1258 views
Zaha Hadid Architects in collaboration with architecture and engineering consultancy Sweco and landscape architects Tredje Natur has been selected to design the new Aarhus football stadium in Denmark.
Called The Arena of the Forest, the design, embedded within the city’s Marselisborg forest, is informed by the vertical rhythm of the surrounding trees that reach up to 47 meters in height.
Zaha Hadid Architects' design proposal was selected from 42 Danish and international architect teams applied for prequalification for the tender in December 2021, and later 6 teams were chosen for the first round of the competition with three equal winners continuing to the second round.
The winning design was praised by the competition organizers "for its understanding and interpretation of the stadium’s special location within the ancient Marselisborg forest and its adjacency to the historic Stadionhallerne, and they said: "The strong manifestation of the winning project is inviting, reaching out to its surroundings and connecting well with the context.”
Conceived as an extension of the forest, the stadium, encompassing a total of 18,824-square-metre area, is distinguished with its verticality and emphasized its public colonnades and the timber ribs of its façade.
Scheduled for opening in 2026, the construction phase is expected to be completed in four stages. The new stadium will be a home for the Aarhus arena and include include the renovation of 'Stadionhallerne' building completed in 1918 by architect Axel Høgh-Hansen.
The team will preserve its intense red facades and white ornamentation to maintain its historic soul that everyone at the club holds dear.
While the new stadium is set to be built on the site of the existing stadium, the new project’s design, structure, and materials are aimed to be optimized with regards to environmental impact, functionality and experienced value.
The new stadium features vertical gestures that flow from the forest towards the landscaped plaza and into the colonnades of the stadium’s external and internal concourses.
Forming an intricate hierarchy of timber ribs within the façade and roof, the team divides the stadium’s large horizontal volume into a human scale volumes whilst at the same time offering a sense of arrival for the fans congregating in the adjacent public plazas.
The design and construction of the new building will be realised by the recycling and reuse of the existing stadium’s materials and components to the largest extent possible.
"In addition to the positive effect on the new stadium’s environmental impact, the reutilization of the old stadium’s components will contribute to the local anchoring of the project," said Zaha Hadid Architects.
The roof of the stadium is another key design element in the project. Thanks to the expansive design of the roof, the roof is aimed to maximise weather protection and increase comfort levels in the adjacent external plazas as well as the internal concourses.
The roof's structure also defines a sheltered 360-degree public circulation route that is independent from the events within the stadium, while creating welcoming new public spaces for a wide variety of civic, recreational and cultural uses by the local community and visitors to the park.
"The stadium’s transparent roof and the gaps within the timber ribs of its façade reveal glimpses of the surrounding forest, while its permeable colonnades blur the boundaries between different programmes," said the studio.
"The east and west sides incorporate open colonnades that act not only as intuitive wayfinding to demark the main entrances, but also as an interface between public events and ticketed programmes; allowing the two to expand into one another and maximise the potential to host many different type of events 365 days a year," the studio added.
The design team is planning to use the right materials for the right function, and aims to reduce quantities to the absolute minimum where strength and robustness add the greatest possible value.
Three primary materials characterize the new Aarhus Stadium: first, concrete incorporating recycled aggregates for the columns, second, locally procured, upcycled and recycled steel for the trusses and timber from local certified sustainable sources for the façade cladding.
"Home ground to Aarhus Gymnastikforening (AGF) football club whose first team play in the Danish Superliga, the current Aarhus Stadium opened in 1920," said the studio.
"While a series of refurbishments were undertaken between 1948 and 2004, the existing stadium no longer meets the standards required to host regular top-flight professional and international football matches as well as large-scale cultural events."
"Perhaps most notably for AGF supporters, the long distances between spectators and the football pitch within the existing stadium are an obstacle to generating the most exciting atmosphere for AGF players and fans at home games. The new stadium will bring fans very close to the field of play, creating an immersive experience for everyone at the match," ZHA added.
"The new Aarhus Stadium aims to become a catalyst for fans and the local community, a new identity for the club, and a new landmark on the national and international football fraternity. We are thrilled to be awarded this prestigious project," said Peter Kristiansen, case architect of Sweco.
"We see it as a recognition of our local presence in the city and our understanding of the uniqueness of the place, the context, and the soul and identity connected to AGF and Aarhus. With our partners we have designed a stadium that fits into the environment and with a Nordic profile. The stadium is carefully designed, and I guarantee that there will be a great experience from every seat," Kristiansen added.
"Our proposal is celebrating the proud spirit of the club and its importance for the City of Aarhus. Paying tribute to both the architectural heritage on site and the unique nature that surrounds it will serve as a welcoming gesture to the public. On any occasion!," said Ole Schrøder, partner in Tredje Natur.
ZHA explained that the winning proposal will now be qualified during the first half of 2023 in collaboration between the City of Aarhus, the winning team and AGF.
Parallel to that process, the contractor who will be responsible for the construction of the new stadium will be found.
In the second half of 2023, the construction will be planned in detail, before the current stadium begins to be gradually dismantled beginning in 2024.
Zaha Hadid Architects recently unveiled Science Centre made of interlocking rectangular volumes in Singapore. Zaha Hadid Architects also unveiled vision for ODESA EXPO 2030 masterplan made of "redeployable" pavilions.
Client: The Municipality of Aarhus
Project Team: Zaha Hadid Architects (Lead), SWECO Danmark (Local and Engineering), TREDJE NATUR APS (Landscape and Local)
Design: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
ZHA Project Director: Gianluca Racana, Ludovico Lombardi
ZHA Project Leads: Subharthi Guha, Jakub Klaska, Paolo Zilli
ZHA Competition Team: Andy Lin, Charles Harris, Dieter Matuschke, Jinhee Koh, Kyle Dunnington, Luca Melchiori, Maria Laura, Michael Forward, Matthew Gabe, Nastasja Mitrovic, Sara Criscenti, Valentina Cerrone, Yuzhi Xu
ZHA Sustainability Team: Carlos Sousa- Martinez, Bahaa Alnassrallah, Aditya Ambare, Aleksander Mastalski
Local Architect and Engineer: SWECO, Denmark
Sweco Project Director Engineering: Frands Andersen
Sweco Project Director Architecture: Peter Kristiansen
Sweco Cost Manager: Jens Højgaard
Sweco Architecture Team: Tim Nørlund , Tina Lind, Eiwen Ying, Søren Vestbjerg Andersen, Thomas Stub Naylor , Lene Kristensen, Bo Boi
Sweco Engineering Team: Bruno Bjerre, Anton Møller Christensen, Søren Pedersen, Bent Greve, Martin Hougaard, Helle Wøhlk Sørensen, Steffen Alstrup Haagensen, Kjetil Birkeland Moe, Kasper Støttrup, Lars Schäfer
Sweco Sustainability Team: Allan Hesselholt, Mads Funder Larsen
Landscape Architect: TREDJE NATUR APS
Tredje Natur Project Director: Ole Schrøder
Tredje Natur Senior Project Manager: Mette Fast
Tredje Natur Team Members: Sofie Askholm Ibsen, Kirstine Lorentsen, Kasper Havemann, Adrianna Trybuchowicz, Lucija Belinic, Philip McKay.
All images © Negativ.
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