Matmut Atlantique (Stade Bordeaux-Atlantique)

Capacity42 115
4,400 (1,000 in 60 boxes) (Business seats)
200 (Press seats)
125+125 (Deisabled seats)
Country France
CityBordeaux
ClubsFC Girondins de Bordeaux
Inauguration 18/05/2015
Opening game 23/05/2015 (Girondins - Montpellier, 2-1)
Construction 04/11/2012 - 30/04/2015
Cost € 183 million
Design Herzog & de Meuron
Contractor Vinci-Fayat
Address Cours Jules-Ladoumègue, 33300 Bordeaux, France

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Description: Matmut Atlantique

Decision to build a brand new stadium in Bordeaux was made in association with Euro 2016 in France. Old Stade Chaban-Delmas was unfit, forcing a new project in the northern lake district. This public-private partnership was contracted in 2012 to Vinci-Fayat joint venture. Besides building the stadium, contractors were also entitled to run it for 30 years.

Complete cost was a very disciplined one, beginning and eventually ending at €183 million despite tendency of such projects to see price inflations. Numerous entities took part in the financing plan. On behalf of the taxpayers those were the federal budget (€28m), the Aquitaine region (€15m), agglomeration of Bordeaux (€15m) and the municipality (€17m).

Anchor tenants Girondins paid €20 million upfront and are obliged to annually pay €3.75m in lease. Also the municipality is expected to help cover costs during first 30 years, which was widely criticized by local opposition.

On site first works began in late 2012, but official cornerstone mounting took place in April 2013. Since then it took exactly 2 years to deliver, the building was handed over as planned on April 30, 2015.

Architecturally it’s an absolutely unique work by the Swiss team of Hearzog & de Meuron. Despite thousands of ideas already being in use worldwide, they still managed to create a stadium unlike any other. Planned for a location like this (flat, unoccupied, with woodlands around), the stadium is at the same time monumental and seems very light.

Beginning with a vast plinth with stairs leading to the main concourse around stands, the stadium then changes form into a reversed frustum growing impressively over spectators’ heads as they enter. The outer form is supported by hundreds of slender columns, almost mimicking the nearby trees.

With no solid façade separating fans from the environment, even after having entered the stadium supporters may feel like in a semi-open space. The main promenade with concession stands, toilets and seats for the disabled is practically outside the stadium, separated from its surroundings by only a “ribbon” of kiosks. Even more, from nearly every point of the promenade, around the entire stadium, fans may see the field.

There are 60 skyboxes distributed equally between east and west stands, all located in the lower ring of seating. There are two solid tiers with a clean and simple design. When empty the stadium seems almost sterile. Even the roof’s inner structure is covered with white mesh to avoid distractions during games. It’s the people who are expected to create atmosphere, the stadium is only a well-conceived environment with acoustics and sightlines taken into account.

Structurally the stadium is a very challenging project. Due to its wetland location, it required 945 piles to be inserted into the ground. Then a lightweight solution was implemented with nearly no reinforced concrete in the main structure, a very rare measure in stadiums of such scale. Steel gave the stadium a perhaps more flexible nature, allowing for the captivating outer look.  

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