Populous to design AC Milan-Inter Milan venue


Populous will design new Milan stadium Image: Populous

AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano (Italy) have announced that Populous’ project – named ‘The Cathedral’ – has been selected for their new stadium. The next weeks will be dedicated to finalizing the objectives and development process of Milan’s New Stadium.

On June 24th, 2019, AC Milan and Inter Milan announced their intention to build a new stadium to replace San Siro. The new 60,000- capacity stadium, which would be constructed next to San Siro, is anticipated to cost US$800 million and was earlier expected to be ready for the 2022-2023 seasons.

The ‘Populous’ stated that the decision announced by the Comune di Milano (Municipality of Milano) last November sees a reconfiguration of the area in the San Siro neighborhood, currently occupied by the Meazza Stadium, through the creation of a new district dedicated to sport and leisure. The new district will include a new 50,000 sqm green area, on top of a reduction of built volumetry in line with the latest regulations (as regulated by the City of Milan Land Planning Scheme or ‘Piano di Governo del Territorio’).

AC Milan is a professional football club in Milan, Italy, founded in 1899. The club has spent its entire history, with the exception of the 1980-1981 and 1982-1983 seasons, in the top flight of Italian football, known as Serie A since 1929-1930.

Inter Milan is an Italian professional football club based in Milan, Lombardy (Italy). Inter is the only Italian side to have always competed in the top flight of Italian football since its debut in 1909.

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, commonly known as the San Siro, is a football stadium in the San Siro district of Milan, Italy, which is the home of A.C. Milan and Inter Milan. It has a seating capacity of 80,018, making it one of the largest stadiums in Europe, and the largest in Italy.

Kansas City (US)-headquartered Populous is a global design firm with colleagues spanning four continents. Working with communities of all sizes and using a range of disciplines, the celebrated design studio creates experiences that amplify the joy felt in shared human moments.

Tom Jones, Senior Principle, Populous, UK, is a Member of Coliseum – Global Sports Venue Alliance.

The ‘Populous’ further stated that the district will be pedestrian-only, with over 110,000 sqm of green areas (40 percent of the total square footage). The parking lot, which represents 27 percent of the total area in the current scheme, will be moved to a dedicated underground area. Most of the sport and leisure activities – located both indoors and outdoors – will be free-of-charge or affiliated with the City of Milan (‘convenzionato’).

Following the decision of the Comune di Milano, the clubs sped up the process to finalize the selection of Populous and kick off the next phase of the project, which will be carried out in the next months with the aim to present a final project at a later stage in 2022.

Populous has 21 offices on four continents, with over 800 employees. Over the last 38 years, the practice has developed more than 3.200 sport-focused projects, giving life to some of the world’s most iconic sporting arenas, including the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium in London (UK), the main stadiums for the Sydney 2000 and London 2012 Olympic Games, the 60,260-capacity Emirates Stadium and the 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London (UK), as well as the 54,251-capacity Yankee Stadium in New York (US), the 59,186-capacity Groupama Stadium in Lyon (France), and the 65,647-capacity Estádio da Luz in Lisbon (Portugal). In 2021, the new Populous-designed 17,459-capacity Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle (US) opened and is set to be the first-ever net zero carbon arena in the world.

The new San Siro will be designed by Populous’ Milan office with the support of the EMEA team in London. A multidisciplinary team will lead the project, which is set to increase the opportunities and services offered to the residents with an improvement in the quality of the urban fabric of the neighborhood.

‘The Cathedral’ is a celebration of the artistic and cultural heritage of Milano (City in Italy). Its design was inspired by two of the most famous buildings in the City – the Duomo di Milano and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – and will result in a unique stadium that will stand out from any other sporting arena in the world.

‘The Cathedral’ will be groundbreaking in terms of innovation and sustainability. The new stadium, surrounded by a large green area, will be carbon – neutral and LEED-certified, thanks to the use of the most innovative materials and cutting-edge technologies in terms of water and electricity usage, as well as noise control. The stadium’s accessibility and user experience will also be outstanding, offering unprecedented safety, comfort and sightlines, as well as a range of new public services.

AC Milan and Inter Milan have confirmed their desire to deliver an outstanding project, which will generate new job opportunities, regenerate a key urban area in the City and create a new green area of over 50,000 sqm for citizens. The project aims to consolidate and improve the image of the City of Milan and of Italian football.

Remarked Paolo Scaroni, President at AC Milan, “The new San Siro will be the most beautiful stadium in the world for its strong identity and recognizability. An attractive arena, accessible and sustainable for the City of Milan that will facilitate the growth of the clubs and their global competitiveness.”

Stated Alessandro Antonello, Corporate CEO at Inter Milan, “The New Stadium of Milan will be in an extra-contemporary green area that can be lived all year round. The new district for sport and leisure and its 50,000 sqm park will make San Siro the go-to neighborhood for sport and entertainment.”

Commented Christopher Lee, Managing Director, EMEA, Populous, “‘The Cathedral’ will become one of the most iconic stadiums in world football. It will create a world-class, modern and truly bespoke home for the legendary clubs of AC Milan and Inter Milan and form the beating heart of a new civic district. It will be a stadium for all Milanese to enjoy for generations to come that is true to the City and honors its heritage. A stadium of Milano and for Milano.”

Stated Declan Sharkey, Senior Principal and General Manager, Populous Italia, “Our design envisages the stadium as the most sustainable in Europe and the focal point of a new sports and entertainment district for Milano that will be alive throughout the year. Underpinned by the history and traditions of these two great clubs, it will not only deliver an incredible sporting arena to watch football in but revitalize the whole area to better serve Milano’s citizens, visitors, fans, and their families.”

Said Silvia Prandelli, Principal, Populous Italia, “The new Milano Stadium project represents an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to write a defining chapter in the storied history of AC Milan and Inter Milan. ‘The Cathedral’ will create a new quality of experience for the clubs’ supporters and future generations of supporters, offering world-class amenities befitting of Milano, with sustainability at the very heart of the design.”

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