Stadiums, Sports projects, Kosovo, Tabanlioglu Architects

Tabanlioglu Architects designs a football stadium in Kosovo

Turkish architecture practice Tabanlioglu Architects has recently designed a new football stadium complex in Kosovo.

Set to be a destination point for the surrounding cities and urban centres, as well as tourists due to its proximity to the Prishtina International Airport, the 30,000-seat stadium and surrounding development will feature a mixture of sports, retail, cultural, entertainment and hospitality facilities within an open-air city park.

With the development divided into two main zones, the project's retail, auxiliary functions and main stadium parking sit on the east end, while the open-air sports facilities and training fields sit on the west end.

A linear green belt wraps around the stadium acting as an open-air urban park where various activities, including events, concerts, markets and fairs can take place. It also serves as a security buffer between the buildings and the stadium during football matches.

The architects located the main parking at the far east edge of the site, which maintains its connection to the stadium through a set of pedestrian corridors that emerge from the east edge of the stadium.

The linear retail strip wraps around the park with a semi-open interior public corridor that connects the retail zone with the hotel, which are all designed to match the city park level.

Using the level difference of the site, these low linear masses are bermed on the eastern edge, creating a natural border with the large parking zone.

The facade of the stadium features a flexible textile veil that drapes over the seating bowl, creating a soft backdrop to the park surrounding it.

"The main intention is to break down the big scale and structure of the stadium and melt it as a thin curtain between the grass and the sky," said the architects. "The facade lifts up gently where the main pedestrian axis meets the structure, further emphasising the floating, lightweight quality of the design."

The facade can also be lit and coloured during matches and events, adding a festive backdrop.

"The design intent is to create a compact stadium seating bowl in order to optimise C-Values and prioritise an intimate and vibrant spectator experience," said the architects.

The Structure

The structure of the stadium is simple and efficient, added the architects. Supported on a series of in-situ concrete A-frames, the seating bowl is constructed with precast concrete units, minimising the need for any temporary works or formwork shuttering.

"This technique expedited construction on site, as well as ensured the quality of finish of the exposed concrete surfaces, minimising the need for expensive finishes."

The precast planks are tied together by in-situ concrete slabs, which act as rigid horizontal diaphragms, transferring horizontal loads to the stair and elevator cores.

The roof is a lightweight steel structure consisting of a series of prefabricated steel trusses, supported at the back of the stand on the concrete A-frames. This ensures unobstructed views from all areas of the seating bowl.

The retail, hotel and dormitories continue the economic and efficient approach of the bowl.

A simple concrete structure, the lower double story zone is bermed on the eastern edge which not only reduces the facade area but also provides advantages for climatising the heavily occupied retail zones.

The seating for the training fields also takes advantage of the level differences of the site, and acts as a part of the landscape by sitting on the natural slope without any additional structural elements.