Interview: Uj Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion – the ‘football capsule’

source:; author: michał

Interview: Uj Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion – the ‘football capsule’ There’s one stadium we couldn’t include in this edition of Stadium of the Year, but it deserves the spotlight! Interview with Architect: Peter Bordas.


We have asked one of our jury members, Peter Bordas about his hot stadium project.

Nandor Hidegkuti StadionTwo years after your design, the spectacular building complex of Nagyerdei Stadium had been realised, another Hungarian football venue, the new Uj Hidegkuti Nandor Stadium was inaugurated at the end of 2016. What challenges did you have to face during the design phase of Uj Hidegkuti Nandor Stadium?

Peter Bordas: The program of the new Uj Hidegkuti Nandor Stadium required a state of the art football stadium with the highest level of spectators’ comfort and a wide range of facilities. The new building had to contain sky boxes on both the west and east sides, as well as VIP zones, lounges, related services, retail areas and the headquarters of the sport club MTK. In spite of this complex program and the restricted opportunities of the narrow site, the biggest challenge was to design a 5,000-seat stadium that provides the same experience as a huge stadium.

As it is well known, the essence of a stadium is the perfect union of the pitch and of the stands embracing it. The carefully designed, closed seating bowl provides a perfect view and experience, which are essential conditions of the proper atmosphere. Therefore the seating bowls of stadiums with 20-80,000 spectators’ capacity show the typically closed, highly arched and dynamic form. Stadiums planned for less than 10,000 seating capacity are considered as small-sized or mini arenas. In these stadiums the comfort level and the range of services are often on a lower level. Even the form of the seating bowl, the whole appearance of the building and the quality of the experience cannot compete with the stadiums designed for ten thousands of guests.

Nandor Hidegkuti Stadion© BORD Architectural Studio

You commented earlier ‘the Football Capsule is the new generation of football venues’. What do you mean by that?

Peter Bordas: The notion of ‘Football Capsule’ is a new category on the palette of building types. The ‘Football Capsule’ is a venue created for football events with lower spectacle capacity but due to its unique architectural design it meets the functional, geometrical and acoustical requirements of big, modern stadiums  therefore it is able to provide the desired real-arena atmosphere.


Opublikowany przez BORD Architectural Studio na 28 lutego 2017

How could you realize the same atmosphere in the new Uj Hidegkuti Nandor Stadium that is usual in a bigger capacity arena?

Peter Bordas: We wanted to provide a special character for the stadium even if the project is only a small-sized stadium. Designing an iconic stadium demands coherent architectural solutions in volume creation as well. The mass of the Uj Hidegkuti Nandor Stadium is divided horizontally into two different parts by a characteristic, sloping, concrete plate. The upper part is characterised by the dynamic form of the membrane roof sheeting. The volume under the sloping plate with its sharp, folded edges reminds us to an origami that blends well with the industrial environment of the stadium.

This clean concept also appears in the design of the inner surfaces around the pitch. We set two stands opposite to each other along the west and east sides of the pitch that are connected by consciously folded surfaces along the short sides. The result is the perfect view of a real, closed seating bowl. The acoustically rated, enclosed bowl form is able to guarantee the same experience that is generally expected from stadiums designed for a huge capacity.

Nandor Hidegkuti Stadion© BORD Architectural Studio

High quality, extra services, unique appearance usually increase the budget of a project. In spite of these could the Football Capsule become a popular building type?

Peter Bordas: In our region these stadiums are built for the clubs of the National Premier League. Therefore the most modern sport technology and the highest broadcast facilities are essential. Although these buildings are mainly designed for less than 10,000 spectators’ capacity, the ‘Football Capsule’ provides the most perfect venues for the prestigious games of National Premier League.

Project name  Uj Hidegkuti Nándor Stadion
Location  Budapest, Hungary
Size  5,000-seat capacity
Year  2014-2016
Budget  € 25 million
Client  Magyar Testgyakorlók Köre (MTK)
General Design  BORD Architectural Studio (facebook)
Lead architect  Peter Bordas
Photos  Gyorgy Palko, Bujnovszky Tamas