Milan Santa Giulia, David Chipperfield designs the new Arena
Based on a masterplan by Foster + Partners, Milano Santa Giulia is the new urban district located in the south-east of Milan, a redevelopment project including residential buildings, buildings for education, commerce and leisure as well as an extensive park.
The heart of the project is the new Arena for sports and cultural events with capacity for 16,000 visitors, designed for the Winter Olympic Games in 2026 and conceived to be subsequently used for concerts, sports events and festivals. In addition, the wide outdoor areas will also provide a new opportunity for social interactions for people from the neighbourhood as well as from the whole city.
Designed by David Chipperfield Architects in collaboration with Arup, the arena is placed in the south of the site and generates a new piazza of over 10,000 square metres in the northern area, perfect for outdoor events.
The elliptical form of the building is inspired by the archetype of the amphitheatre, reinterpreted with modern tectonics and materials; the structure is supported by a raised podium, made of mineral materials, that occupies almost the entire site and opens up to visitors via a wide flight of steps as well as an entrance cut into the podium at street level.
On top of this podium, the arena rises up in the form of three metallic rings of differing heights, characterised by the shimmering aluminium tubes during the day and the LED strips that light up at night; the rings are connected by light, transparent glass bands in the spaces in between as well as with the floor, while, towards the piazza, the rings project irregularly, giving the building a sense of dynamism.
Inside the arena, there are two tiers above the parterre level as well as a level with lounges and Sky Boxes. All seats are accessible via spacious lobbies at all levels, as are catering and service facilities. Last but not least, the necessary car parking spaces are located within the podium as well as in a multi-storey car park that evolves from the podium, closing off the site to the north.
Outside, the environment is dominated by organically designed green spaces with trees that extend down the staircase, evoking a green hilly landscape.
Finally, the importance of sustainability: in order to minimise the consumption of resources and CO2 emissions, the project includes photovoltaic systems on the roof, whose energy generated on site largely covers the needs of the energy efficient building.