Spanish football club Real Madrid has unveiled a galactic-themed redesign of its renowned Santiago Bernabeau stadium.
Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid unveiled the proposed design – which comes at a cost of £328 million (AU$615 million) – at a recent press conference.
“We want it to be the world’s best stadium, with the highest possible level of comfort, and an icon of progressive architecture,” he said. “The best stadium, on a unique site, which will be a global symbol. A special, unique and spectacular arena. Our commitment is to continue increasing the heritage of our club, thus [gaining] in economic strength, so we can continue to lead in an environment of increasing competition.”
The new project will see the stadium expanded to seat 90,000 with a new retractable roof and tourism facilities.
German architecture firm GMP has been commissioned for the project, which will see a titanium shell added to the existing the Bernabeau stadium. The shell’s appearance has been likened to a “space mothership.”
GMP secured the international tender for the design, beating out design entries from Foster+Partners, Herzog & de Meuron and sports architects Populous.
GMP will work in collaboration with Spanish firms L35 Arquitectos and Ribas on the winning design, which will see the addition of a shopping centre, a luxury hotel, and enormous 360 video screens installed beneath the retractable roof, which can be opened and closed in a mere 15 minutes.
The roof will be made of titanium due to its “smart” credentials and its ability to protect the interior from the elements. Images such as sports replays, sponsor advertisements and communication announcements could be reflected off the shiny façade.
“[We aim to] transform the Santiago Bernabéa into the most advanced and developed stadium of the 21st century,” said Volkwin Marg, owner of GMP. “This building is undoubtedly the most important of our careers.”
Half of the stadium is expected to be funded through Real Madrid memberships and the remainder will be funded through the selling of naming rights, with Microsoft rumoured to be the frontrunner.
The stadium was first inaugurated in 1947 with its last upgrade coming at the time of the 1982 World Cup. The new project is scheduled to be completed by 2017.
Titanium is regularly seen in circular and organically-shaped buildings and is being used more and more in tourism architecture, particularly in sports stadiums and entertainment theatres. It boasts superior corrosion resistance compared to stainless steel and copper, while its thermal expansion is approximately 50 per cent that of stainless steel.
In Japan, the Ōita Bank Dome also features a retractable roof constructed from steel, teflon and titanium stretching over 270 metres across and 60 metres high. That project was designed by renowned architect Kisho Kurokawa, who chose titanium for its futuristic aesthetic and structural flexibility.