Three teams to contest design tender for new Aarhus football stadium

Three teams remain in contention to secure the contract to design Danish Superliga football club AGF’s new stadium after a further three proposals were jettisoned.

The jury in the project competition for a new football stadium in Aarhus has announced three equal winners of the first round of the tender. They are the teams of:

  • Cobe (Denmark), AFL Architects (UK), Buro Happold (Denmark)
  • Zaha Hadid (UK), Sweco (Denmark), Tredje Natur (Denmark)
  • Dorte Mandrup (Denmark), Kristine Jensen (Denmark), Schlaich Bergermann Partner (Germany)

The first round of the tender was judged anonymously, but the jury now knows which team stands behind each proposal and will be able to address the contestants in the second round regarding issues to be defined further.

Those eliminated from the contest are the second-place team of 3XN (Denmark), HKS Architects (UK) and Schønherr (Denmark). Joint third place was awarded to the team of SCAU (France), LYTT Architecture (Denmark) and Buro Happold (UK); along with Dissing + Weitling (Denmark), Kengo Kuma & Associates (Japan/France), MASU Planning (Denmark) and MOONN (Denmark).

The six teams in contention to land the contract were issued with the conditions they needed to meet back in January. The City of Aarhus selected six teams of architects and studios to submit final proposals for a new football stadium in December.

The stadium is due to open in 2026 and be located within the existing Aarhus Sports Park close to Aarhus Bay and the Marselisborg Woods. The stadium will form part of the wider ‘Vision Kongelunden’ regeneration programme, which aims to redevelop the Aarhus Sports Park as a new sustainable recreational zone for locals.

The six teams had been told that the stadium’s budget is DKK 585m (£66.6m/€78.6m/$83.1m). Proposals needed to be submitted for a 20,000-seat venue, expandable to 24,000 with the addition of standing terraces. A provision for a further 2,000 seats was also required.

Alvaro Arriagada, director of the Kongelunden project at the City of Aarhus, said: “All six proposals are of a very high standard, but the jury has found that these three have winning potential. Now certain issues will be investigated further, and we are very much looking forward to seeing the final proposals.”

The City of Aarhus expects to announce a winner of the stadium competition in November. By then all project proposals will be made public and displayed.

The jury report from the first round of the tender said: There is no doubt that the tenderers have put great creative efforts into the work on designing a new stadium in Aarhus, of which the material shows clear signs.

“The jury had to take a position on convincing, thoroughly prepared and also very different proposals. All six proposals are consequently outstanding proposals for a solution, and at a very high professional level they have generously contributed to illustrating the design project.

“Based on the three evaluation criteria: ‘architecture and functionality’, ‘technology and the environment’ and ‘consulting fee’, the jury’s task was to find the winner/winners of the design contest. It is gratifying that the winning proposals also represent three very different architectural approaches to the task. A fact which also holds interesting aspects in the further processing.”

AGF currently plays at Aarhus Idrætspark, which is comprised of a 19,400-capacity stadium (pictured) and an arena.

Image: City of Aarhus