The design proposal by Populous and Ateliers 2/3/4/ for the new Grand Stade Rugby Stadium in Paris has emerged victoriously over two competing entries. The announcement was made by the Steering Committee of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) after several months of discussions and reviews.
Project Description from the Architects:
The FFR Grand Stade will be much more than a stadium; the 82,000 capacity venue will become the ‘national stadium of rugby’. It will host all the French rugby home matches, and also accommodate conventions, shows and a broad range of sporting events thanks to its multi-purpose design. The retractable pitch will endow the FFR with the best quality pitch amongst all the major rugby stadiums in the world. The retractable roof will deliver a more intense atmosphere, it will ensure matches are played whatever the weather, and will create the largest roofed entertainment venue in Europe. Four large video boards are part of the multi-purpose facilities, allowing the broadcasting of replays and extra technical information.
The stadium has been designed to contribute to writing the future of the Fédération Française de Rugby and of French rugby. Its architecture echoes a fortified town delivering both hospitality and protection, with white stone echoing the quarries in Baux de Provence. Within this protective venue, the Plazas des Bandas, the general admission arcades, the multi-level lounges, the corner suites and the presidential box make a variety of outstanding and unique spaces that are there to catalyse the fervors of the French rugby fans.
The heart of the stadium lies under the protection of tall mineral walls and large glass windows looking onto the finely cut bowl, which will create a vibrant atmosphere. There will be between 17 to 20 events a year, including five to six games of the French national rugby team and the final of the TOP 14.
Pierre Camou, President of the FFR, said: “Today, we have taken a fundamental step which embodies a strong ambition and a vital project for the FFR, allowing it to be autonomous and master of its future. Now we know what this ‘garden of french rugby’ will look like a modern, innovative and multifunctional venue which can take part fully in the national and international sports landscape.”
Serge Blanco, Vice President of the FFR in charge of the project, added: “The three project submissions were all of high technical quality, combining innovation and aesthetics. The proposal made by Populous and Ateliers 2/3/4/ proved to be the most suitable to meet the objectives that we have set for the medium and long term. It fits perfectly with the idea that we are creating the multifunctional stage par excellence.”
Ben Vickery, Senior Principal of Populous, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by the FFR to work on this very prestigious project. The Grand Stade of the Fédération Française de Rugby will be not only the new home of French Rugby, but a cultural catalyst for the district of Essone as well as France.”
Francois Clement, Associate Principal of Populous, commented: “The FFR Grand Stade resonates a fortified town delivering both hospitality and protection, with walls echoing the quarries in Beaux de Provence. The 82,000 capacity venue will become the ‘house of French rugby’- embodying the ambition and future vision of the FFR, both in a sporting and a civic sense.”
Francois Consigny, Project Leader of Egis, said: “We are proud to work on a project of this magnitude; a venue that will innovate with technical prowess in the service of entertainment and sports around the rugby values: sharing and enthusiasm.”