‘Stadium within a stadium’ plan proposed for Artemio Franchi

Fresh plans have been put forward for the redevelopment of the home of Italian Serie A football club Fiorentina that would involve the formation of a “stadium inside the stadium”.

Fiorentina has played at the Stadio Artemio Franchi since it opened in 1931 and efforts to either redevelop the facility or build a new stadium intensified after the Florence-based club was taken over by Italian-American businessman Rocco Commisso in June.

Commisso last month said the club needed help from politicians and local institutions “to do what’s right for the city” when it comes to the team’s stadium plans. Commisso has already been presented with one proposal from Marco Casamonti, but the plans of the Florentine architect have been opposed by local authorities, which are keen to ensure certain historic elements of the Franchi are retained.

In July, the Noi Per Firenze organisation submitted a €100m (£88.9m/$109.2m) redevelopment proposal to the Municipality of Florence, with the organisation having teamed up with architecture firm BCB Progetti on the initiative.

This has now been adapted, with BCB Progetti’s Carlo Bandini telling the Firenze Today website: “Our project does not involve demolition, but the realisation within the current structure of two new stands, in correspondence, but much closer to the field, of the two Fiesole and Maratona stands.”

The remaining space between the old and new stands would be covered and underneath would be space for exhibition structures, football pitches or tennis courts. Bandini continued: “The design challenge is to preserve the Franchi by inserting modern functions inside with a unique restructuring. The current stands remain where they are and we develop a new structure closer to the playing field, a sort of ‘stadium inside the stadium’.”

Noi Per Firenze seeks to promote the city of Florence as a commercial and tourist destination. The revamped plan would retain a vision for the wider Campo di Marte area and would lower capacity from the current 43,000 to just over 40,000.

Bandini said work could be carried out in three phases without impacting on the staging of matches at the stadium. The stadium redevelopment would take three years and cost €50m, with a further €70m budgeted for the surrounding development.

Bandini added: “This is much less compared to the €150m planned for the other project, which only considers the work on the stadium. Now we look forward to presenting it to Commisso.”

Image: TheStadiumBusiness