David Chipperfield selected to design new Milan arena

International ticketing and live entertainment provider CTS Eventim has appointed British architect Sir David Chipperfield and his firm to design its new arena in the Italian city of Milan.

David Chipperfield Architects will work with international design firm Arup on the design of the arena, which will form part of the Milano Santa Giulia urban development.

The 16,000-capacity, multi-purpose arena will be used to host events during the 2026 Winter Olympic Games and will be Italy’s largest indoor venue when it opens in the autumn of 2025.

Chipperfield’s recent major projects include the refurbishment of the Neue Nationalgalerie and the James-Simon-Galerie on Museum Island in Berlin.

Construction on the Milan arena is due to begin this autumn. Once the Olympics are over, CTS Eventim will take over the running of the venue.

The Milan Arena will have an elliptical design, rising from an elevated base in the shape of three rings of different heights. The rings will be linked with each other and the floor by light, transparent glass bands.

The inside of the arena will feature two tiers of seating above ground level, plus a premium level with lounges and VIP boxes. Measures will be introduced to minimise carbon emissions, with photovoltaic systems to be fitted on the arena’s roof.

Chipperfield said: “We are very pleased to have been invited to develop the design, along with our partners Arup, for the arena in Santa Giulia. We believe that this will not only be an important venue for Milan but that the building and the new piazza will contribute to the physical quality of this important development. We look forward to seeing it become a new destination in the beautiful city of Milan.”

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, chief executive of CTS Eventim, added: “We love David Chipperfield’s plans. The arena will be absolutely unique with a silhouette that is instantly identifiable even from afar. Every visit to an event here will become a close encounter with world-class, cutting-edge architecture, which will further enhance the drawing power of the arena.

“We are also pleased that the project is fully on schedule. We are building this spectacular arena not just in Milan, but most importantly for Milan. And we don’t want the people of the city and the surrounding region to have to wait a moment longer than necessary.”

CTS Eventim took over the development of the Milan arena in August. The arena will add to CTS Eventim’s portfolio of international venues, which also includes the Lanxess Arena in Cologne and the Eventim Apollo in London.

Oak View Group announced the venue as its first European project through a partnership with Live Nation around the time Milan won the 2026 Olympic bid in 2019, but rights have since switched to CTS Eventim.

In terms of revenue, Italy is CTS Eventim’s second largest market after Germany. Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company earned around €271m (£228m/$300m) in Italy in the ticketing and live entertainment segments.

Image: Onirism Studio