Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia

Friday 15 Jun 2018
Credit: SPEECH, Mosinzhproekt

Architects: SPEECH, Mosinzhproekt

Let the games commence!

The centrepiece of the Russian World Cup has been lovingly restored and brought up to date

The 2018 World Cup is upon us, with the opening ceremony, several key matches and the final taking place at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The magnificent building has been refurbished by SPEECH architectural office and Mosinzhproekt.

Luzhniki Stadium was designed and built in 1955-1956 under the supervision of architect Alexander Vlasov. In 1980 Luzhniki was the main arena for the Olympics. It has been closed for reconstruction since 2013. The key objectives of the reconstruction project made by SPEECH architectural office (Moscow) has been to preserve the stadium’s external appearance (the stadium’s historical wall and roof) as an icon of Russian sport and to fulfil all FIFA’s requirements with regard to floor areas and capacity. The task facing the planners and designers was to fit all the required functions into the existing geometry.

The renewed Large Sports Arena now has a maximum capacity of 81 000, which is 3000 more than previously. Furthermore, prior to reconstruction, approximately 10% of seats in the stadium were in a zone where there were limited views of play. The stands have for this reason been replaced with two tiers raked at a steeper angle; additionally, there is a third tier consisting of 100 skyboxes. These changes mean that football fans now have a great view of the pitch from any point in the stands (including the bottom and top rows). There are also new comfortable VIP boxes with capacity for 1950 spectators.

The stadium’s external appearance has also been lovingly preserved, including the colonnade girdling the stadium, the inside wall, and the shape and sculptural form of the roof. Behind the historical wall an internal street has been created; its main feature is eye-catching cascades of staircases, which serve as the main channel for spectators to get move around the stadium. The only new element on the façade is a frieze in the form of a broad metal strip on which images of symbols of various types of sport have been created using perforations. A 23-metre-high viewing platform is situated at the very top of the stands and will be open to all. 

The WAN Sport in Architecture Award 2018 is open for entries 

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Nick Myall

News editor

Key Facts



SPEECH, Mosinzhproekt