Denmark’s second-largest city is set to add a signature piece of architecture after the announcement that a team led by Zaha Hadid Architects, Sweco, and Tredje Natur has been selected to design a new soccer stadium in Aarhus following an international competition.
The trio beat out two other finalist entries for the commission of the new Skovens Arena, which will be set amongst the city’s Marselisborg Forests and feature a single-tiered bowl design meant to bring fans as close to the action as possible in order to create an "intense" gameday experience.
“We are thrilled to be awarded this prestigious project. We see it as a recognition of our local presence in the city and understanding of the uniqueness of the place, the context, and the soul and identity connected to AGF and Aarhus,” Sweco’s Peter Kristiansen explained in a statement.
“We were the only remaining team in the final with a local office and to act as the local representative has been extremely important to us. With our partners we have designed a stadium that can’t be built anywhere but in Kongelunden in Aarhus,” Kristiansen continued.
Nicknamed the “Arena of the Forest,” the new stadium reflects its surroundings with a verticality that is expressed through a permeable exterior colonnade and timber-ribbed facade designed to support a transparent extended roof, which hovers slightly above the treeline.
Recycled concrete in the columns, upcycled and reused steel trusses, and locally-sourced timber in the facade cladding form a material palette that is representative of the project’s underlying concern for environmental impact. The site’s extant 104-year-old Stadionhallerne will also be refurbished as part of the scheme. Many components taken out of the old stadium will further enhance its sustainability aspects, while also anchoring the new design in a way that serves the fanbase with a connection to the club’s history.
ZHA Director Gianluca Racana says it will be a "new landmark for the city that incorporates the highest standards of environmental, economic, and social sustainability within in every aspect of its design and construction."
Plans are for the four-stage construction to conclude sometime in the year 2026.
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