Design & Development

Fenwick Iribarren to deliver ‘garden stadium’ for Serbia

Images: Fenwick Iribarren Architects

Spanish studio Fenwick Iribarren Architects (FIA) has secured the contract to design a new National Stadium for Serbia, with its masterplan envisioned to create the world’s first ‘garden stadium’.

Located in the municipality of Surčin, on the outskirts of Belgrade, 13.5km from the city centre and 5.4km from Nikola Tesla Airport, the façade of the 52,000-capacity stadium is intended to be unique in its nature with four tiers suspended by cables that will include garden areas. The objective is to provide the city and the local environment with a green and natural façade, with three levels of landscaped gardens around the entire stadium.

The latest news comes after Serbian authorities presented plans for a new national football stadium in Surčin back in October 2021, with optimism that the project could progress after years of inaction. At the time, the venture came with a projected price tag of €257m (£220.4m/$284.6m). A tender to develop a new national stadium in Serbia was reportedly cancelled in June 2020, due to financial concerns amid COVID-19.

FIA has said its project will make the National Stadium of Serbia one of the most innovative in the football stadium design sector, as another of the purposes sought is to be able to use the spaces as leisure areas all year round.

FIA said: “Therefore, thanks to this design and the creation of garden areas in the different tiers that make up the stadium, in the form of hanging gardens and fully accessible to the public, the citizens of Belgrade, walkers and tourists will be able to enjoy a natural environment.

“The surroundings of the stadium will also have cafeterias, kiosks, restaurant and leisure areas distributed throughout the perimeter, in such a way that the concept of a ‘green’ stadium is generated, with unique and sustainable walkable areas.”

The total area of the stadium, and its 4,500 parking spaces, will mean the project will have a footprint of approximately 32 hectares. Through the experience of the FIA design team in sustainable projects, as reflected in the development of three stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar – Stadium 974, Al Thumama and Education City – Fenwick Iribarren said the main objective is to offer a “totally efficient design” from the point of view of energy usage, intelligent in its operation and respectful of the environment.

In parallel, work will be done to keep the stadium running efficiently not only during major tournaments, but also in the future, with the holding of a variety of events which will seek to provide a “real estate legacy” for the city of Belgrade.

FIA said another notable aspect of the National Stadium of Serbia lies in its cooling and heating system. Based on the technology of four-pipe chillers, which simultaneously provide heating and cooling, the system will allow residual heat, created in the cooling process, to be used to generate hot water for the heating circuit. The system will cover all the heating and cooling needs of the building.

Following its work for Qatar 2022, FIA’s current projects also include Spanish LaLiga football club Valencia’s complex Nuevo Mestalla scheme.