In 1911 the first athletic and soccer stadium was built in Cluj, near Central Park and close to the river. A wooden tribune gave shelter to the spectators. After 50 years, in 1961, a new concrete stadium was built in replacement of the old one. It had a horseshoe shape and received after some time the name of a famous Romanian athlete. After another 50 years, following more than a decade of debates and proposals, the new Cluj Arena was built and opened to the public in 2011.
The most important conceptual element of this project is transparency allowing visual connections between the outside context and the indoor pool of activities. It also works vice-versa through the visual permeability of the facades which allows the sights to escape and to keep the public connected to the park and the hills. At the city scale level, we experienced the need for a symbolic contemporary landmark, for which we have chosen a mixture of fluid and flowing shapes, a large artificial landscape in constant relation with the winding Someș River and the nearby park. The artificial slope surrounding the tribunes connects the green of the park to the built environment, reduces the scale of the building and offers a second promenade from the access areas, wherefrom the public can take a glimpse at the everyday life arena. The daytime image of the Arena is enhanced by the complexity and diversity of natural daylight conditions and especially by the brushing light of the morning and the sunset along the river. In the evening, the Arena unravels two different images: a soft, warm light embraces the rhythms of structure and facades, and whenever a show enflames the arena, the building transforms into the largest lamp of the city, a contemporary lighthouse.
Media: The image of Graitec 2015 | Archello 2015 | BATRA 2013 brochure | Mimoa.eu 2013 | Arhitext Trans[ap]parencies 2013 | House Trends Portugalia 2012 | TSPORT Italia 2012 | Architecture and Culture Korea 2012 | Zeppelin, City. Society. Technology 2012 | Lindab Direct Suedia 2011 | HunterDouglas 2011