Light and open stadium by Herzog & de Meuron breaks ground in Bordeaux
A 43,000-seat stadium in Bordeaux designed by Swiss duo Herzog & de Meuron has begun construction. The practice is highly experienced in stadium design having worked on the famous Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing with Ai Weiwei for the 2008 Olympic Games.
The Stade de Bordeaux is designed as ‘an expression of fundamentally new architecture’, its rectangular form safely nestled in a verdant region in southwest France. A flat roof structure is supported by a forest of slim columns through which one will be able to view a series of food stalls and restroom facilities. All programmatic functions are located on the lower levels of the venue with the stadium bowl at the top level.
A statement from Herzog & de Meuron reads: “Our project for the new Bordeaux stadium is an expression of fundamentally new architecture. The pure shape of the volume, by contrast to its light and open structure, creates an at once monumental and graceful architectural piece elegantly suited to the grand landscape of Bordeaux.
“Stadium architecture combines three constitutive elements: the bowl containing the game and its spectators, the concourse as the transitional element between the playing field and the outside surroundings and, finally, the overall appearance. Our approach is to reinterpret these three elements in light of the site-specific characteristics: the resulting architecture is thus one-of-a-kind, reflecting the intrinsic features of the site.”
The bowl within which the games will take place is divided into four sectors and two tiers, shaded by a stunning roof system formed of concentric strips designed to channel the spectator’s vision to the pitch below. Shafts of sunlight will seep through the gaps between these strips at a specifically engineered angle, lighting the game in play but not impairing the vision of spectators. The project also features a photovoltaic plant which will provide sustainable energy to support the running of the stadium.