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Populous’ Euro 2016 stadium, Lyon

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Laura Mark takes a look inside the stadium which was the venue for last night’s Wales game

PROJECT DATA • EXPLODED AXONOMETRIC • LOCATION PLAN • SITE PLAN • SECTIONS • ELEVATIONS • ROOF DETAIL

Completed earlier this year, Populous’ Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium has had some time to bed in ahead of tonight’s match.

After more than 10 years in the making, the 59,186-seat stadium opened as the new home for Lyon’s football team back in January, and it has already been used for the European Rugby Champions Cup Final and has hosted five other UEFA Euro 2016 matches.

London 2012 stadium designer Populous was first approached to design the stadium in 2005. The practice was nearing completion on Arsenal’s Emirates stadium and the French Club Olympique Lyonnais – which was in the middle of a run of seven successive French league titles – wanted a similar new home. Stadiums in France are normally built by the state, so it was unusual for a team to be considering purpose-building on their own.

The stadium has a distinctly corporate feeling, with glazed lounges ringing the outer edge of the stadium. Its array of bars, meeting rooms, 110 executive suites and eight corporate lounges means it can cater for a vast number of visitors and events. ‘Rising ticket prices mean fans expect more,’ says Populous principal Garry Reeves. And in the gastronomic capital of France, it is not just about the football – fans can enjoy food and drink within the stadium on open balconies on the upper concourse.

Fans approach the main pitch through huge double atriums which give glimpses through to the main stadium beyond. The cast concrete spaces are largely unadorned, set for the overlays of its different events, but it is the fans who animate these spaces.

Those at this evening’s match can expect noise

Those at this evening’s match can expect noise. The 53,700m2 roof – one of the largest stadium roofs in the world – has been designed to amplify the sound of cheering fans, and it certainly does. Acoustic panelling behind the top rows of seating and on the underside of the roof reduce the reflection of sound, making the chants of the fans clearer.

‘The north and south stands were designed to facilitate the traditional singing between home fans, creating a cacophony of noise and support for the home team,’ says Reeves.

Despite its large size, which overhangs the podium by 30m in places, the roof was originally set to be even bigger. It’s the one thing Reeves seemed disappointed about when we visited the project earlier this year. But its huge span doesn’t just provide sound resonance within the stadium, it also offers shelter to the crowds as they arrive, and creates a civic space on non-match days.

At night the soaring roof is lit up, becoming a beacon which can be seen across the medieval city. It also hopes to act as a catalyst for regeneration for the area of the city in which it sits. Its huge grassy car park turns into a public park on days when matches aren’t taking place. It’s designed to be a destination – not just a place to come for the match.

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Location plan

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Site plan

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Exploded axonometric

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Sections

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Elevations

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Roof detail

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Parc Olympique Lyonnais by Populous

Project data

Location Lyon, France
Type of project stadium
Client Olympique Lyonnais
Architect Populous
Masterplan designer Intens Cité (AIA Associés + Buffi)
Landscape architect AIA Studio Paysage
Lighting consultant Cobalt Light Systems
Interior design Naço
Catering consultant Sodexo
Building control Veritas and Socotec
Main contractor Stade de Lyon Construction (Vinci)
Initial appointment 2005
Completion date January 2016
Total cost €300 million

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