The news came a few days ago, but it has already been around the web: the British star architect David Chipperfield will sign the new Olympic arena built in the new Santa Giulia district, which will be used for the hockey competitions of the 2026 Milan Olympics -Curtain. The building will be built and managed by the Cts Eventim company, and will be able to accommodate up to 16,000 spectators, of which 12,000 are seated and 4,000 are standing.
Later, at the end of the Games, the arena will not be dismantled, on the contrary: it will become an integral part of the city fabric, and will be reused for events, concerts and shows, but also handball and basketball matches, or gymnastics competitions. In the words of Rainer Appel, executive vice president of Cts Eventim, the arena will become “an important legacy for Milan and Lombardy, and will remain the most important structure in Italy for this type of event even after the Games”.
The structure of the Milan Santa Giulia Olympic arena will be elliptical in shape, designed by means of three floating metal rings screwed onto themselves, two of which are reserved for the public and the third reserved for lounge rooms and Sky Boxes. And on the facade there will be a huge mobile screen, where it will be possible to project texts and images. According to David Chipperfield, who is not a new face in Milan as he has already designed the Mudec which has also led to various controversies, the plant will become an iconic “building, with a simple and classic shape, with a clear geometry for which what is it about”. The 3 rings for the spectators will have different heights, will be connected to each other and will be joined to the floor by a transparent glass, so as to give the optical illusion of being able to float on each other. The aluminum tubes on the outside will display a series of LED light strips at night.
The context on which the new Olympic arena in Milan will be built is also innovative: it will look out onto a new square, with a size of 10 thousand square meters, where events will be organized and the daily life of the neighborhood will take place. The space will be created according to the agronomic consultancy of the Laura Gatti studio, which also took care of the Vertical Forest. Green areas full of trees will be created, as if to evoke a hilly landscape.
The construction work of the arena is scheduled for the end of 2022. There is talk of a duration of the construction site of about 3 years, although there are still two obstacles to overcome, in the form of two appeals to the TAR. However, the words of the mayor of Milan Beppe Sala reveal optimism, and he hopes that the entire complex can be finished without major problems for the start of the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympics.
The hearing for the appeals was set for June at the Administrative Court, but the municipal administration is convinced that it has done everything right, and is inclined to move as if nothing had happened, as no suspensive action has been called.
A final word, then, deserves attention to the environment with which the structure was designed. It will in fact be entirely sustainable, minimizing energy consumption thanks to the photovoltaic panels on the roof, which will produce a large part of the energy by reducing the waste of resources.
Who is David Chipperfield
Architect David Chipperfield has headed the David Chipperfield Architects studio for 37 years, with four offices located in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai. He is one of the most important architects of the contemporary scene, and from him there is a great ability to listen, which together with his measured and sober approach, have made him one of the main points of reference also in the restoration sector.
Among his works stands out the delicate intervention of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, but also the Mudec in Milan and the Procuratie Vecchie in Venice.
Image source: https://davidchipperfield.com/project/arena-in-santa-giulia