The Ghelamco Arena is a newly-built 20,000 seat multi-functional sports arena located in Ghent, Belgium. The developer of the Ghelamco Arena, the Belgium company Ghelamco NV, commissioned Massive Design to provide the interior design for 200,000 sq. ft of the stadium's interiors, including floor finishes, ceiling and lighting design. The interior design project included the main entrance and ticket counter; first floor lounge and bar area; the main circulation corridor on the second floor below the stands where the bar and dining facilities are located; locker rooms/spa area for the players with Jacuzzi, massage and relaxation rooms; as well as graphic design for select areas.
Main design features include covering existing concrete and steel pillars and rectangular openings in the main entrance lobby with organic-shaped columns in molded acrylic gypsum custom by Mac Stopa. The geometry of the columns flows fluently into the sculpted organic-shaped ceiling modules illuminated with blue LED linear lights. Also featured are modular pentagonal ceiling panels with acoustic sound absorption properties, whose shape resembles the classic geometry of the stitched panels of a soccer ball. Approximately 10,000 Ecophon boards were cut to size and shape custom designed by Mac Stopa.
Other design features include massive organic openings between the entrance lobby and first floor lounge area; blue (representing the K.A.A. Ghent team) accent lights contrasting with white finishes; custom Mac Stopa soccer ball shaped pendant lighting reflecting different colours and displaying colour sequences; and dynamic 3-D graphics of black and white soccer balls on the second floor bar counters. About the design, Mac Stopa said, "For me, the natural way of thinking was to do design that connects the geometry of the soccer ball and the colours of the local team." About using organic shapes, he added: "I believe that in architecture, we prefer to be surrounded by softer forms because we feel closer to nature. "The modern and creative interiors incorporate a well-defined soccer theme and bring a new level of design to stadium interiors, differentiating Ghelamco Arena from other sports stadiums in Europe. The modular panels used throughout the interiors maximize sound absorption, important for a stadium constructed primarily of concrete and glass. Today, the Ghelamco Arena has one of the most impressive stadium interiors in Belgium, and perhaps in all of Europe. As the home stadium for the local soccer team K. A. A. Ghent, the Ghelamco Arena hosted the stadium's first soccer match on July 17, 2013, with Belgian King Albert II and Queen Paola presiding over the stadium's inauguration.