Project by NO.MAD
Our goal is to answer the question, “What will the space be like when restored to its original quality of a sport-in-nature stadium, with the increasing religious quality of its skillful celebrants and obedient acolytes?” It is an almost-rectangular site envisaged by an autistic planning scheme without any kind of urban excitement, an excitement needed by a de-industrialized city in times of low self-esteem.
The answer is a system of visual/emotional patterns of behavior reflected in the shape of the building accommodating them. On the one hand, we need to recover a continuous green space on which to play and sit surrounded by a grass surface that blurs the boundaries between players and spectators. On the other, the multiplicity of ways of looking at height and distance, as well as the distribution of groups of spectators and their control, configure different tiers of seating with varying angles and greater or lesser slopes, with specific insertions of the playing field for each one.
In this way there appears a series of autonomous mini-buildings, without interconnecting circulatory systems, that house their own services and accesses, rendering them capable of being used independently. Their compact grouping within the piece of ground forms a whole which can cease to function as a male catharsis of just an hour and-a-half a week and facilitate partial rentals for weekly meetings of any group that wishes to use it. The four corners complete the layout and, in line with their different programs—changing rooms, social club and installations—are converted into new autonomous buildings with a characteristic geometry. Without forgetting that the players must make an effort for the show to go on, a chromatic world of illusion, an outcome of the algorithmic combination of seven colors will fill tile tiers of seats with silent spectators.
The roof provides the apparent unity of this whole battery of programs, a direct reflection of the internal organization, permeable to the gentle light of the location and cut back in the areas where the rain penetrates to the gardens of the terracing. The roofing continues on the outside, protecting the entrances to the stadium at the level of the tiered seating and, at a lower level, the areas of walkway on the street, generating a lack of rhythm that expresses the general way of functioning in the exterior image of the building.
In the search to transmit an emotional message by indicating that we are entering another kind of nature, we introduce a perceptible camouflage in the closed perimeter of the building, conveying the variations of woodland light by means of a system of vibrant steel elements, permeable to sight and anti-vandalism beneath the angles of the roof. The entrances through this fictitious wall of vegetation transport us to an alternative geography which controls the flows and periods of visitation of the spectators. A volume is configured, then, with varying lighting conditions that acts like a gentle beacon at night, as if it were a ribbed Japanese lantern, capable of inscribing, in the dark, the skeleton of the building as a fascinating new emblem.
Facts and Figures
• Author: NO.MAD Arquitectos S.L.
• Client: BILBAO Ría 2000.
• Location: Paseo del Ferrocarril S/N, Barakaldo.
• Years: 1999-2003.
• Budget: 10 million euros.
• Site Area: 28,700 m2.
• Floor Area: 9,260 m2 building + 7,760 m2 field.
• Project Architect: Eduardo Arroyo.
• Design Team: Nerea Calvillo, Sergio L. Piñeiro, Héctor Mejía, Francesco Monaco, Raúl Ortega, Santiago Mazorriaga, and Luis Arroyo.
• Quantity Surveyors: Jose Luis Villanueva, Jose Miguel Ortega, and Gorka Revuelta.
• Structural Design: Joaquín Antuña and Carlos Olmedo.
• Landscape Architect: Teresa Gali.
• Electrical Engineering: Patxi Hernando.
• HVAC Engineering: Jesus Mari Corral and Ricardo Laso.
• General Contractor: Construcciones BRUES, S.A.
• Photography: Roland Halbe.
NO.MAD is a Madrid-based architecture office founded by Eduardo Arroyo in Amsterdam in 1989. Their work has received multiple awards and it has been published and exhibited internationally. Some of their most recognized projects include the Lasesarre Stadium and the Plaza del Desierto in Barakaldo, the Sondika Nursery, the Levene House and the Zafra-Uceda House in Madrid, the Arquia Bank in Bilbao, and the University of Economic EXAC in Vienna. Their book CREATE! documents their design process that combines precision, chance, and necessity in search of the unknown.