FC Gabala and AFL release design proposals for FC Gabala sports complex
AFL Architects were appointed to design a new state of the art 14,000-capacity stadium and training facility in December 2008 after winning a design competition for the project. Both the Azerbaijani Supreme League team and AFL Architects aspired to create an exceptional world-class football destination and training venue, which retained the character and culture of the Gabala region. Situated in the northeast of Azerbaijan, Gabala is the country’s most ancient city. The new stadium will be situated on the western edge of the Gabala, on a steeply sloping site in the foothills of the Caucasian mountains.
AFL’s design was inspired by the nearby ruins of ancient ‘Kabala’, as well as by the stunning mountainous landscape that surrounds it. As such, the designs include positioning of stone walls across the site, broken and deconstructed at key points to articulate the elevations. A striking tower - inspired by the stonework of the ancient city gates - marks the primary entrance into the stadium, and creates a contemporary landmark for the city. Large expanses of curtain wall glazing front onto the dramatic public space at the centre of the development, contrasting with the mass of the stonework, and allowing a large amount of natural light into the buildings.
Large format Brise Soleil break up the glazing, providing solar shading and privacy to spaces within as necessary. Accommodation within the stadium will include hotel and conferencing facilities, retail and corporate hospitality space, and a viewing deck at the top of the entrance tower. The 9000 sq m training facility incorporates both First and Youth Team facilities, with separate rest, recreation and training suites, and a shared gym, swimming pool and indoor sports hall, in addition to eight external practice pitches. Construction is due to begin in Autumn 2010.