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Design & Development

‘Forest-stadium’ vision set to be presented for Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy

Featured image credit: D7ckon/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

Stefano Boeri, founder of Stefano Boeri Architetti, is set to present his ‘forest-stadium’ concept for the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, as debate continues over a proposed new home for Italian Serie A football clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan.

Boeri, who has long been engaged with the two teams’ efforts to develop a new stadium, will present his plans for the redevelopment of the venue otherwise known as the San Siro this (Friday) evening as the public debate process continues for the project.

Boeri will outline how his proposal, renderings of which can be viewed here, would address one of the main concerns surrounding the project in place, namely its proximity to residential areas.

“The forest-stadium is designed by moving the tunnel in via Patroclo which in any case must be rearranged because it is too small,” he told Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra. “We have repeatedly said that if it was left where it is now, the new stadium would be built 35 metres from the houses. Madness.

“By moving the tunnel to the west, the stadium is 100 metres from the houses. It is the most logical solution. I tried in every way to say this but the teams have never listened to me because for them the important thing is to build.”

Regarding the forest-stadium concept, he added: “It represents our way of thinking, a stadium with a family dimension, welcoming, with less impact. I insisted on showing the project not because it is the most beautiful of all, but because it represents an urban planning idea that improves the situation.”

Boeri’s proposal comes after it emerged last month that venue management company ASM Global had approached Milan authorities with a proposal to manage and redevelop the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

The revelations were detailed by Italian broadcaster Mediaset, which published a letter from Giuseppe Rizzello, general manager of ASM Global’s Italian division, to Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala.

In the letter, Rizzello, who spent close to seven years working for Inter as stadium safety and operations manager between October 1999 and July 2006, backed calls to retain the facility otherwise known as the San Siro.

Public debate commenced on September 28 for the Nuovo Stadio Milano project, with a fresh look provided at the design proposals and original plans to retain some part of the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza being scrapped. The process is due to end on November 18, with the publication of the final report on the public debate.

Populous in December saw off competition from Manica/Sportium to land the contract to design the new stadium. Populous’ project, dubbed ‘The Cathedral’, was selected, with the coming weeks having promised the finalisation of the objectives and development process of Milan’s new stadium.

Bureaucratic red tape has stymied progress since then, but the plans laid out in September showed the angular stylings originally proposed for the new 60,000-seat stadium having been somewhat smoothed off. These changes are still provisional, however, and are expected to be altered further.

The Meazza had been expected to be partially demolished after holding the opening ceremony of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games and converted as part of the wider sports and entertainment district vision for the site.

However, it was revealed in September that this plan has changed with the Meazza now set to be demolished completely when Milan and Inter move into their new home in 2027, in order to better accommodate the sports and entertainment district, which will include a public park.

Commenting on the challenges surrounding the project, Boeri said: “For me, the dilemma of whether to keep the Meazza or make another stadium makes no sense. Both things are possible but we need to think about the quality of the project. I see three kinds of problems.

“First: there is a need for a stadium which has to become more efficient and less expensive. Second: we have a large space that today is a barrier and instead must become a connecting point between the two extremes of San Siro: the popular district and the garden city. 

“Third: there is a potential district of over 2.6 million square metres that could be used for sports and leisure. Something that only a few other cities in Europe have. If you join the gallop racecourse, the trotting racecourse, Boscoincittà, the Trenno park and Monte Stella you can get to that size. 

“The three themes must be looked at together, both if you keep San Siro on its feet and if you build a new stadium.”