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A stadium for 6,000 spectators in the Joan Gamper Sports Complex for FC Barcelona

An asymmetrical and iconic image for a state-of-the-art stadium.

Estadi Johan Cruyff a Sant Joan Despí
Estadi Johan Cruyff a Sant Joan Despí

Johan Cruyff Stadium in Sant Joan Despí

The New Johan Cruyff Stadium project for Barcelona FC. Part of the expansion of the Joan Gamper training facility, along with all the operations for Espai Barça. The requirements contemplate the building of a new stadium to host the games of the affiliated, female, and junior teams.

Authors

Batlleiroig Arquitectura. Enric Batlle Durany, Joan Roig i Duran, Albert Gil Margalef – Architect

Team

David Sesé López, Francisco Javier Luna Gómez, Francesc Puig, Marta Peinado, Mercè Lorente i Gras, Carlos Griell, Nuria Hernández, Mario Súñer Díaz, Sergi Roca, Alejandra Liébana Leirós – Architect / Maria Duran – Architect and BIM Manager / Joan Batlle Blay – Architect and landscape architect / Yago Cavaller Galí – Agricultural engineer and environmentalist

Collaborators

BIS Structures – Structural engineering, PGI Engineering – MEP engineering, ARCO Facade Consulting – Facade

Promoter

FCB – Fútbol Club Barcelona

Construction company

UTE Estadi FCB JC / Serom

Project status

Built

Start date

2017

Finish date

2019

Total area

4.265,51 m2

Outdoor surface

18.687 m2

Awards

IAUD International Awards 2020 – Estadi Johan Cruyff, Good Practice 2019 – Estadi Johan Cruyff, Design for All Foundation Awards – Estadi Johan Cruyff
© Antonio Navarro Wijkmark

AN ASYMMETRIC SHAPE

Hosting 6,000 spectators, a relatively small venue, the stadium could have been solved with a single low bleacher. However, the will to conceive a high standard stadium, fulfilling the requirements of a UEFA Cat III stadium, compelled us to install bleachers higher than the rest of the stadium, integrating technical requirements for television, lightning, VIP areas, etc…

The proposal integrates this important asymmetry in a single gesture, generating a unifying perception within the whole complex that provides the project with its iconic image.

This asymmetric image also relates to the club’s history, not only bearing the name of the legend symbolizing the game’s principles but because the new stadium reminds us of the image of the first Barcelona FC playing field. The field at Carrer Indústria, followed the tradition of the first stadiums when there was still no defined typology, and when the usual solution was the obvious placement of the building along the long dimension of the field to watch the game.

© Antonio Navarro Wijkmark

UNITY IN A SINGLE GESTURE

The new Johan Cruyff stadium, 137,5 meters long and 110 meters wide follows the old platform building concept hosting most of the building’s facilities and a low U-shaped roof enclosing the remaining 3 sides of the field’s perimeter.

This way all the bleachers remain sheltered, encircling the field with no interruption around the corners, generating maximum proximity between players and spectators. The transition between both elements (the low roof and the stand volume) is accomplished with a subtle gesture that turns the low roof’s cornice into the platform’s railing generating an interior ‘ribbon’ surrounding the field. In tune with the idea of hugging players and create a community atmosphere, the corners are also occupied with seats, unlike many stadiums, allowing for a maximum contact zone between players and spectators.

A new modern and efficient stadium for the emergent Barcelona FC teams. An iconic architecture transmitting the club's values: a cozy, honest, inclusive, smart, and sustainable building. Albert Gil MargalefArchitect / CEO / Senior Partner
© Antonio Navarro Wijkmark

The building continues with the orthogonal direction of the training facility adapting to the site’s existing topography and the facing streets.

Exterior urban arrangement is distributed on two large platforms surrounding the stadium. The main pedestrian entrance is located at the lower level +20.60, generating a civic square framed by the stadium’s main elevation and Can Felip, a renovated manor house. The Press, VIP, and staff entrances are also located on this level. A pedestrian ramp connects with the higher level +24,35 encircling the perimeter of the whole stadium. Most surface parking is concentrated on these platforms and this is where the stadium is accessed, through the entrances located on all four corners. The stadium is accessed at street level, and on this level, spectators move until they reach their seats.

Vertical communication is carried out through external stairs for the general public and a central staircase with two elevators for the VIP public, press, and internal operations. / © Antonio Navarro Wijkmark

INSPIRED BY GREEK THEATERS

Following the classical Greek theater model, spectators always reach their seats from the superior level. This gesture provides a general view of the whole stadium upon arrival, improving the user’s comprehension of space.

Bleachers are placed on two levels, aiming at improving views for all spectators and being as close as possible to the field. Vertical communication runs along exterior staircases for the general public and a central staircase with lifts for VIP, press, and internal operations. This core communicates the different levels of the platform building where the main uses are distributed on the different levels according to user groups. The exterior image of the stadium is characterized by a neutral color plinth of prefab concrete elements and perforated folded metal sheets; contrasting with an envelope of red metal trays on the upper levels. On the platform’s main elevation, we created a dynamic elevation. A second light skin made with anodized aluminum circular discs the size of a football moved by the wind’s pressure.

A canvas where the invisible is drawn, the air’s movement, reminding us that the ball is always moving inside the stadium, even when it is empty.

 

© Antonio Navarro Wijkmark

AN ICONIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL SET

This circle skin stretches throughout the whole length of the building providing solar protection to the VIP and Press areas for this sun-exposed orientation while generating support for messages with a large presence from the exterior of the stadium. The stadium’s name is written here. Technology and innovation are materialized with a LED low consumption system lightning the playing field with a number of services unavailable at most Champions League stadiums. The playing field hybrid turf solution is also innovative. This enables the best conditions for the field reducing player injuries.

Thus, the project for the new Johan Cruyff stadium consolidates as an iconic ensemble, without complex or superfluous strategies, linked to the club, its colors, and its values conceived to provide the best comfort to players and the best service to spectators. A stadium carrying the name of the legend, the cradle where tomorrow’s football stars will arise from.