Zaha Hadid Architects to design Denmark venue


Aarhus stadium to be designed by ZHArchitects Image: Zaha Hadid Architects

World-renowned London-based design studio Zaha Hadid Architects has been chosen as the architect for a new football stadium in Demark’s second largest City, Aarhus.

‘Zaha Hadid Architects’ stated that no less than 42 Danish and international architect teams applied for prequalification in December 2021 for the tender – ‘New Stadium in Aarhus’, and six teams were chosen for the first round of the competition, with three equal winners continuing to the second round. On December 14th, the winner of the competition could finally be announced at a presser with the City of Aarhus as the developer and host, as well as the two sponsors behind the majority of the financing, Lind Invest and Salling Fondene, and the local Super Liga club AGF Football present.

Zaha Hadid Architects is a British architecture and design firm founded by Zaha Hadid, with its main office situated in Clerkenwell, London, UK.

Aarhus Gymnastikforening is a professional sports club based in Aarhus, Jutland, Denmark. Founded in 1880, it is one of the oldest clubs in the country and gymnastics and fencing are featured as its main sports. However, AGF is mostly known for its football department, which was established in 1902. Currently, the club’s first team plays in the Danish Superliga, the top flight of the Danish football league system. The top-flight plays its home games at the 19,433-capacity Aarhus Stadium in Aarhus, Denmark.

‘Zaha Hadid Architects’ further stated that the ‘The Arena of the Forest’ is the title of the beautiful stadium project designed by Team Zaha Hadid London, where the inspiration for the striking columns and wood as a material has indeed been the large, old tree trunks in the forests that surround the City’s stadium located in the Kongelunden area.

Strong References

With references such as the World Cup-current 20,000-capacity Al Janoub Stadium in Al-Wakrah, Qatar, from 2019 and the sustainable EFL League one club Forest Green Rovers F.C. home venue – the 5,000-capacity Eco Park Stadium, currently under construction in England (UK), Zaha Hadid Architects has strong references from international stadiums.

The Aarhusian spectators are, therefore, in for a fantastic experience inside the new stadium, which will be a one-tier bowl, where an intense football experience is the focus.

Distinctive and Iconic

In the evaluation report, Zaha Hadids’ winning project is praised for having understood and interpreted the very special location in the old forests of Marselisborg (nature preserve in Denmark) and next to the iconic and historic building Stadionhallerne:

“The strong manifestation of the winning project is inviting and reaches out to the surroundings and connects very well with the context. The proposal is at the same time so distinctive and iconic that it will be remembered as a special stadium for Aarhus.”

The winning proposal for a new stadium will now be qualified during the first half of 2023 in collaboration between the City of Aarhus, the winning team and AGF. Parallel to that process, the contractor who will be responsible for the construction of the new stadium will be found. In the second half of 2023, the construction will be planned in detail, before the demolition of the current stadium gradually begins in 2024. The construction phase will proceed over four stages towards the expected inauguration of a new stadium during 2026.

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