Plant-covered stadium could host events at Paris 2024 Olympics

Plant-covered stadium could host events at Paris 2024 Olympics

French architecture studio SCAU have won the design competition to create an Olympic stadium and leisure park in the suburbs of Paris, with their vision for a venue extensively covered by plants.

The practice will develop and expand the existing Hunebelle Stadium into a 24,000sq m (258,300sq ft) mixed-use ground with a connected bowling alley, gymnasium, athletics hall and parking that flow organically into one another, partially underground.

Situated on the edge of a forest in the commune of Clamart, the facility will boast green roofs and a facade of vegetation that forms an extension of the surrounding woodland.

During the day, mirrored glass surfaces will accentuate the natural elements by reflecting the sky and forest, while at night they will flood the stadium with light cast by the large skylights. A series of opening across the exterior will allow spectators to view the trees, the sky and the on-field action.

The project, which will cost an estimated €41m (US$49m, £36m), is scheduled for completion in time for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, although it is not yet clear what events will be hosted there.

SCAU have completed a number of high-profile projects in France, delivering galleries for the Louvre and working on the national Stade de France. Their other previous stadiums include Le Havre’s bold blue Oceane Stadium and the 67,000-capacity Stade Vélodrome for Marseille.

The firm are currently designing the 20,000 Yamoussoukro Stadium in Côte d'Ivoire, which will host fixtures at the African Cup of Nations in 2021.

Many events at the Paris Olympics will take place against the spectacular backdrop of the city’s historic buildings, streets and landmarks. The Champs Elysees and the River Seine are among the 38 Olympic and Paralympic venues spread across the French capital, while beach volleyball will be held at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.

The concept to integrate sport into the very centre of the city is the brainchild of sports architects Populous and Egis, the Paris-based international consultancy, engineering and operation group. The pair were chosen in 2016 to collaborate on the Paris 2024 bid, and were tasked with envisioning “the most sustainable Games ever.”

First published: written by Kim Megson, 11 May 2018