DICO si TIGANAS designs multi-use sports stadium in the heart of Transylvania
Cluj Arena was expected by the public as being more than a stadium. It is a replacement of the former stadium of the sixties in a consecrated place and, at the same time, the first major public investment in the last twenty years in the proud city of Cluj-Napoca, the heart of Transylvania. Huge expectations and major debates on keeping the new stadium in the same place or finding a remote new position for it were won by the nostalgics.
The challenges were related to the integration of a big structure into a public promenade along the river, allowing people to enjoy both the silhouette from the distance and the details from proximity. The scale was diminished by the artificial hill, created to partially cover the inferior ring of the tribunes. The limits of the stadium were completely dissolved. There is no fence, no barrier for the sight and the pedestrians may look inside and see the magic green grass rectangle and the athletic oval as they enjoy their promenade.
Transparency is the major architectural theme. It is visual, mental and affective. The skin is designed to breathe, literally, allowing to stay connected with the park, the river, the hills and the city. You may see through the facades inside out while daylight and outside in while the lights are on during a show. The whole stadium is neutrally coloured in white and tones of light gray, expecting people, sun and flood lighting to colour it. A hidden gold reflex is visible at sunset, while the sky is reflected on the envelope of the stadium.
People received the new apparition as being either geographic or 'UFO-like', but a friendly one, to be put on the flag. Cluj Arena is the biggest lamp of the city during the show and a quiet pool for training and imagination the rest of the time.