AS Roma is to compete in a modern replacement stadium inspired by the Colosseum, it has been revealed. A design team based in Woods Bagot’s New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco studios has unveiled renderings and sketches of a grand 52,500-seat stadium in Tor di Valle. The $400m development is scheduled to complete in time for the 2016-17 Serie A season.
The design directly references many core elements of the Colosseum, which dates back to 70AD. Woods Bagot’s concept suggests a steel and concrete seating bowl wrapped in a ‘floating’ stone scrim, which speaks to the rhythmic façade of this instantly-recognisable Roman treasure.
There are also plans to incorporate a hydraulic lift system which would create a theatrical entrance for players, similar to the unveiling of competing gladiators in the Colosseum. A polycarbonate-clad roof references the retractable fabric canopy once found in historic arena’s upper tiers.
Woods Bagot Sports Design Leader, Dan Meis explains: “For an architect who has spent much of his career designing stadiums, and most of his vacations in Italy, the Stadio della Roma truly is the project of a lifetime. Rome has an unparalleled architectural history. To be able to build anything there is a gift, to build a new home for AS Roma and the most passionate fans in football is heart-stopping.”
These fans will be adequately catered for in their new home. The ‘Curva Sud’ - a section of the existing home of AS Roma (Stadio Olympico) populated with the team’s most avid fans - will be replaced in the Stadio della Roma with a steeply-pitched section of 14,800 seats, clearly separated from the remainder of the seating area. A design statement notes that this section will comprise ‘more “muscular” and raw architecture to provide a clear and unquestionable identity as the heart of AS Roma fans’. All 52,500 seats within the stadium bowl will be covered by a PTFE canopy.
The stadium will not only be home to AS Roma but will also host concerts and performances through its ultra-flexible design. Retractable stage canopies, rigging and turf protection systems enable a variety of stage configurations. WiFi capability and mobile connectivity will be available throughout the stadium and the proximity of the seats to the pitch/stage has been optimised for an enhanced atmosphere.