Torku Arena (Konya Büyükşehir Stadyumu)
|920 (in 55 skyxoes) (VIP seats)|
|200 (Disabled seats)|
|Inauguration||13/09/2014 (Konyaspor - Balikesirspor, 2-0)|
|Construction||17/10/2012 - 09/2014|
|Cost||TRY 146.45 million|
|Design||Bahadır KUL - Ofis Mimarca|
Description: Torku Arena
One of the most popular clubs outsider Istanbul, Konyaspor, spent nearly a decade waiting for their desired new stadium. Initial plans were drawn in 2006, envisaging a new 35,000-seat stadium and a hotel/retail complex.
Eventually a different scheme was implemented, launched as part of a nationwide sports infrastructure program. Along principle rules stadiums are moved outside city centres (old ones sold/demolished). In Konya this meant moving to the north-western edge, to a plot which used to be a public park.
Architecturally the stadium stands out compared to most modern arenas with its strong, angular outer form. With contrasting white-green colours it resembles a flat football. Though changed slightly during implementation, the vision by Istanbul-based design team retained its distinctive looks.
Most of the cladding consists of triangular composite panels, some translucent to provide natural light for facilities inside. The roof is made of more traditional membrane, but still utilizes triangular forms to fit in the entire design. At night the stadium also differs from many others. Instead of illuminating the panels, architects chose to highlight edges and vertices of the triangles, forming an interesting impression.
Construction was launched in October 2012 and went on to end in under 2 years despite some harsh weather conditions. Opening took place in September 2014, as the Super Lig kicked off. Sadly, the first game saw stands only half-full. This came as a result of nationwide protests against controversial fan ID cards.
In the end the stadium grew significantly from initial plans, exceeding 42,000 seats. This number includes 55 skyboxes spreading over west and east sides (920 seats). There are also three significant restaurants and a complex hospitality zone in the west stand.
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