We’re minutes away from the Euro 2016 final, so all eyes are turning to Stade de France. Ours too, but first we give you a completely different Stade de France, one that never got built.
France and Portugal will decide tonight who will be the new European champion. The game will be played at Stade de France, the largest French stadium, built in 1998. We’re going further into the past, to the international competition of 1994. This is when this unique vision was presented for what was then known as “Grand Stade de Paris”. And though it never got built, you should see what was envisaged by Atelier Jean Nouvel!
This vision by French architectural giant Jean Nouvel remains one of the most impressive ever, regardless of the passing time. During the international competition for France’s national stadium in 1990s Nouvel decided to meet all criteria set out by the government and go much, much farther.
It was expected that the new stadium would have retractable stands to accommodate both athletics and football without compromised sightlines. But while most contenders suggested only parts of the seating bowl to me mobile, Nouvel’s team suggested making the entire stadium flexible.
As you can see on the model images, entire stands would be able to slide a couple dozen meters in and out. With various options for corner sections, capacity of the stadium might be between 25,000 and 85,000, an unprecedented variety!
Along the same rules, also the stadium’s roof could offer options from 0% covered to 100% covered, having not only a retractable central section, but also sliding segments above the audience, able to move outside the building.
This revolutionary vision was to be built within the governmental budget of €300 million, but with such advanced solutions it was unrealistic to believe it could be delivered. Even more questionable would be the cost of maintenance and regular reconfigurations. No wonder a different vision was approved for delivery.