In Florence, Italy, the stadium of Fiorentina Football Club is a building of historical and artistic interest, built between 1930 and 1932. The club now belongs to a new chairman, Rocco Commisso, an American-Italian businessman who has put the need for a modern sport infrastructure as one of the top priorities for the club.
After much deliberation about the future of the old stadium, the Florentine-based Studio Pierattelli Architetture came up with a new proposal for the football ground with a hallmark organic form and a metal mesh cover in the club’s colours - purple, white and red. The project is part of a masterplan covering the redevelopment of an expansion area in the north-west of the city, Novoli district, and the new ground would become a sign of renewal, growth and urban expansion.
Not only is the project an opportunity to upgrade the urban scenario of one of the most vital areas of the city, but it will also redefine the relationship between architecture and context, resolving critical issues weighing the area.
In fact, the new proposal also provides the opportunity to renovate the road network, which currently suffers from major infrastructural failings. Creating a new network that will connect with the Mercafir Florence fruit and vegetable market will further help revive the city. Artificial hills will be constructed around in order to create a living, usable architecture where citizens can engage.
With its hallmark organic form - higher on one side than on the other - brings to mind the image of a stone. The metal mesh in the club’s colours of purple, white and red, covers the outer structure in an iconic manner. Total 16 entrances, four of them with turnstiles, with lifts and panoramic stairways, give access to three rings of grandstands, as well as to the shopping mall and catering area that will always open to the public.
“The new stadium project certainly provides a unique opportunity for Florence”, says architect Massimo Pierattelli, “for rethinking the relationship between the building, its functions and the city, adding new meaning to the structure and creating added value for citizens, as well as for fans."
With this new stadium design, Pierattelli Architetture is not only grafting a new structure on to the existing urban fabric, but also making it part of a new vision for the city, able to combine different functions that will remain active all year round. This holistic vision of the relationship between architecture, urban planning and social life will optimise the relationship between city life and sport.