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Follow the Landscape Design Development of the Sports Park Stozice

This is how architects SADAR + VUGA are planning and designing their hybrid urban project, the Sports Park Stozice.

Its realization is the result of the public-private partnership between the city of Ljubljana and Grep Development Company. Architects SADAR + VUGA are responsible for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia in Ljubljana. They have designed the 187,500sqm complex that is located north of the city. The project combines a football stadium and a multi-purpose sports hall with a shopping centre covered by a recreational park landscape. The two storeys of the shopping centre and indoor car park occupy the 12metre deep disused gravel pit that once characterized the site. The Sports Park Stozice changes the periphery of Ljubljana by merging green space and recreational facilities in order to create new areas for social interaction and activities.

The 16.000 seat football stadium is designed according to contemporary economic, sociological and environmental UEFA standards: these standards provide ideal design and shape conditions for sporting events and ensure a good experience for the spectators. The stands descend from the concourse to the football pitch and enables spectators to be close to the action while remain covered by the roof. The football stadium is ‘sunken’ in the park, in which only the roof over the stands rise above the plane of the field.

“The plane is pierced by four flights of stairs that provide access and lead to the stadium’s concourse. The park’s plateau gradually descends to the east revealing the stadium as an open building, while the eastern entrances create views into the interior that reinforce the notion of it conceived as a depression in the ground. A steel roof stretches high above the stands highlighting the 4x4m grid structure; thus enhancing the quality and sensation of the interior space.”

The sports hall for 12,000 spectators is located in the northwestern part of the park. The four levels of concourses and the lower, VIP, and upper stands are covered by a shell-shaped dome. Much like the stadium, the dome is finished in an exterior cladding that shifts colors depending on the atmospheric conditions and viewing distance. The sports hall is a partially recessed building with a volume that is determined by the required seating capacity and the size of the basketball and handball court (the two sports the hall is mainly intended for). The position of the stands provides maximum compactness to the interior space hence allowing the spectators to be as close to the action on the court as possible.

Alongside the stadium and the hall, the shopping centre is the third major component of the Sports Park Stozice. It’s location between the car park level and the park platform seamlessly integrates the retail programme with the rest of the park’s activities and enables visitors to access the complex from all sides. Three greened atriums extend the atmosphere of the park into the shopping center by piercing the roof to create a visual connection between the exterior and the shopping centre, making them prominent features in the project. The recreational park platform on the roof of the shopping centre is a technical landscape, designed by Studio AKKA, composed of individual recognizable micro-ambiances that withstand the pressure of the crown before major sporting events, and also offer comfort to the stroller, the skateboarder or the playing children.

“The park is understood as something more than just an open space. Its playgrounds in the greened area of the park, with their microtopography, diverse vegetation, and articulate paving transform the park into a hybrid open urban space where the natural intertwines with the artificial, the digital with the analogue, the noisy with the quiet, and the full with the empty.”

Further Images of the Sports Park Stozice

Architects: SADAR + VUGA (lead architect); KSS, London (consultant in sports architecture)
Landscape Architecture: AKKA, Ljubljana
Construction Engineering: Atelier One, London; Gradis; ELEA iC
Mechanical Engineering: Lenassi; Jelen & Zaveršnik
Electrical Engineering: Elprojekt; UTRIS;Genera
Fire Engineering: EKOsystem
Traffic and Site Engineering: LUZ

SADAR + VUGA was founded by Jurij Sadar and Bostjan Vuga in 1996. Over the past fourteen years it has focused on open innovative and integral architectural design and urban planning. The architects’ beliefs are that architecture should not function as a mere piece of design, but rather as a way to shape and change social space. On May 9, 2011, SADAR + VUGA received the Zupancic Award for Sports Park Stozice, a prize awarded by the Municipality of Ljubljana to the artists who, through their great creations in the field of culture, significantly shape the context of the Municipality of Ljubljana.

Photography by: Matevz Lenarcic; Aerovizija, Ziga Cebasek, David Lotric and SADAR + VUGA.

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