Populous has been selected to deliver the €100m (£90.4m/$123.3m) redevelopment of Stade de la Meinau, the home of French Ligue 1 football club RC Strasbourg.
Populous, along with SCAU, KSS Group, HPP and 2PORTZAMPARC, was among a shortlist of five architecture firms selected out of a total of 45 applications back in February 2020. Its selection as project manager was made by Eurométropole de Strasbourg, the regional administration, which is overseeing the venture.
Populous’ proposal is said to have met three essential criteria: environmental performance, functional and financial control of the technical program, and the urban and landscape integration of the new-look stadium.
The redevelopment will increase the capacity of the stadium from 26,000 to 32,500 whilst creating new meeting and service spaces, as well as reception lounges and access points. Eurométropole de Strasbourg will provide €50m of the funding required for the project with three other regional public bodies – the Grand Est (€25m), City of Strasbourg (€12.5m) and the Department of Bas-Rhin (€12.5m) – covering the remaining costs.
The club itself plans to commit between €7m and €8m towards upgrading the stadium’s museum, shops, offices and ticketing facilities, as well as €10m towards a new training centre for the first team and €21m towards modernising academy facilities.
RC Strasbourg president, Marc Keller, said: “We are proud for Strasbourg, for the whole region, and happy for our supporters too. With the Populous project, the Meinau will enter a new era but will remain the Meinau, the stadium that we love with its very special atmosphere, its special spirit.
“We have always said it: we want the stadium of tomorrow with the atmosphere of today. This will be the case. Populous will bring the Meinau into a necessary modernity while retaining its identity.”
The project will initially see the redevelopment of the Meinau’s east, north and west stands. Removable seating will be installed to allow for the expansion of the length of the playing surface from 120 to 131 metres to cater for rugby matches.
Populous has worked in association with Strasbourg-based firm Rey-De Crécy on the project, with a building permit to be filed in September ahead of the potential start of work in May 2022. Delivery of the new-look Meinau has been earmarked for July 2025.
Pia Imbs, President of Eurométropole de Strasbourg, said: “It is a project which meets the needs of the stadium and at the same time takes into account its geographical location in Strasbourg within the Meinau district. A project capable of bringing together, beyond sport, the economic, artistic and cultural world.”
Images: RC Strasbourg