Sant'Elia Cagliari Calcio Football Stadium

Sant'Elia Cagliari Calcio Football Stadium

A lighthouse to lead the process of urban metamorphosis, beyond the match-day

The exciting new stadium design proposal presented by the team led by Italian firms J+S and One Works, interprets and transforms the four main requests of Cagliari Calcio to deliver:

The history and pride of a Sardinia that looks to the future

The design of the new stadium bases its identity on the flag of the ‘4 Mori’ - a symbol of victories and the territory’s legacy but, most of all, represents a symbol of pride.

The first strong recognizable feature of the design is the bandage that surrounds the head of the Mori. This important element of the stadium will contain and envelop the structure to provide the stadium with a bold character and, at the same time, provide a flexible, customizable and animated surface. The façade will be designed as an adaptive form, an animated external façade will be integrated with an articulated lighting system to create a spectacular landmark, recognisable from the city and the sea, for fans and the local community. A real ‘Lighthouse’ that for the strong local identity could not arise anywhere else in Italy, or even the world.

Key Facts

Client: Cagliari Calcio
With: J+S
Location: Cagliari, Italy
Year: 2017 – 2018
Services: Architectural Design, Concept Design, Functional Layout

A complex that represents economic and environmental sustainability

The stunning new Sant’Elia stadium will project Cagliari into the future by using the latest in design innovation and advances in digital technology, however symbolically, will be developed on the legacy of its predecessor by literally rising on it. Part of the old stadium materials will contribute to build the base (Podium) for the new landmark site, offering economic and environmental benefits to the scheme.

The rectangular system is softened and disarticulated for the main base through a series of openings that define large inclined planes that connect the stadium to the surrounding area. The Podium will become a core feature where all urban relations are stratified, promoting the stadium at key times for both for operational and complementary purposes, such as commercial, cultural and social activities. In addition, the podium welcomes other elements to contribute a positive relationship with the waterfront through a number of structures that have their own autonomy: the Hotel and Spa, the Business Center above the local Museum, the small glazed building that identifies the museum of Cagliari Calcio, fan shop, a boxing gym, a music venue and a local clinic.

Sant'Elia Cagliari Calcio Football Stadium
Sant'Elia Cagliari Calcio Football Stadium

An unrivalled fan experience that is capable of attracting a wide range of visitors

At the heart of the scheme is the bowl. Designed to be a flexible structure, the bowl symbolically emerges as a landmark for the area that, like a modern nuraghe, establishing relationships with the territory. Designed to accommodate 24,000 spectators, it is prepared to easily expand to accommodate events of a European scale (up to 30,000) without any structural changes. The main stand will be equipped with all the functions to guarantee a high-level of hospitality for an unrivalled fan experience, providing a range of services including quality catering, conference and meeting facilities, museum exhibitions and all-round entertainment attractions that go well beyond the needs of reception on match days.

A catalyst for urban metamorphosis

The fourth, and final, fundamental element to characterize the stadium and unify the project, is the light and dynamic basin cover that protrudes over the podium to offer shelter to outdoor spaces. This coverage plays, not only a functional role, but more importantly a symbolic and strategic one with the upwards light being contained to amplify the true effects of a ‘lighthouse’. The light is then directed to the base, indirectly illuminating the entire podium and enhancing the various architectural elements to create a pleasant environment for fans and visitors to enjoy.

Horizontally, the cover has been designed to invite and trigger dialogue with the surrounding environment to promote urban metamorphosis. The coverage becomes the strongest element of openness and exchange with the city and its people.

Sant'Elia Cagliari Calcio Football Stadium

About the design team

The design team is comprised of established Italian architecture and engineering firms with international vision and is strengthened with the collaboration of two important Portuguese architecture firms, who have gained significant experience both in the academic and professional fields in Sardinia. In particular, Cagliari, where Joao Nunes with Proap is developing the Parco degli Anelli, the project of the city waterfront which includes the area of the new stadium.

Structured to meet the specific objectives of Cagliari Calcio, the diverse characteristics of each team will offer a truly unique multidisciplinary approach to the new stadium. Together the team will combine the ability to design and manage the complexity of crowded spaces in dialogue with the city and places dedicated to entertainment and other social activities, as well as the specific experience gained of the design and construction of other football stadiums. This previous experience is brought by great professionals such as Ing. Massimo Majowiecki for MEP (20 stadiums), and Deerns for the structures, relying on the specific consultancy of Studio Shesa and MIC. In addition, the team will also seek the involvement of other local professionals.

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