Located in a forest area south of Borisov city centre, the 13,000-seat arena creates a new larger home stadium for FC BATE Borisov, the reigning champions of the Belarusian Premier League.
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Slovenian firm OFIS Arhitekti, whose previous projects include student housing modelled on wooden baskets, gave the stadium a domed shape clad with shimmering aluminium panels and punctured by an assortment of blob-shaped windows.
The intention was to recreate the appearance of fabric stretched over bones. “The skin of the dome gives an impression of a fragile stretched perforated textile pulled over the stadium skeleton,” said the designers.
The rounded shape was engineered to improve acoustics on the pitch, which is oriented north to south to ensure that sunlight is evenly distributed for both teams playing in a match.
Approximately 3,000 square metres of public facilities are located behind the curving facade on ground-floor level, at the north, south and east ends of the stadium. These include restaurants, bars, shops, a bowling alley and a fitness centre.
A naturally ventilated visitor’s foyer is located on the level above. Designed as “a place to break during half-time”, it offers toilets, bars, a first-aid room and a detention area.
Spectator seating is arranged in rows of 17 along the main sides, and in rows of 27-28 at the two ends. The upper west gallery is reserved for press, with seating for up to 40 journalists, while VIP stands with 250 seats are positioned on the east side.
Car parking is located in the forest areas around the perimeter, although the architects say that they avoided felling trees where feasible.
“The concept takes into account the natural advantages of the location and the existing interventions within the terrain, while maintaining as many of the existing trees on site as possible,” they said.
Photography is by Tomaz Gregoric.
Architect: OFIS Arhitekti
Project leaders: Rok Oman, Spela Videcnik
Project team: Janez Martincic, Rok Gerbec, Andrej Gregoric, Konstantine Bogoslavsky, Janja Del Linz, Katja Aljaz, Ana Kosi, Ieva Cicenaite, Grzegorz Ostrowski, Filip Knapczyk, Sergio Silva Santos
Collaborators: Lorna Jackson, Patrycja Majewska, Rita Dolmany, Dusan Chobor, Darko Ivanovski, Alex Manecan, Catalina Severin, Michele Albonetti
Engineering and local office: Magnus Group
Client: FC Bate, County of Borisov