Stadium Spotlight: Stade de France That Never Was

In 1995, the final decision had to be made on the design for the Stade de France, to host the 1998 World Cup final and become the new national stadium. Choosing between the two finalist designs, outgoing prime minister Edouard Balladur decided to go with Michel Macary’s design: the one we now know as the Stade de France, which is nice enough.

But boy, look at what at could have been if Balladur had gone with the other design by Jean Nouvel (perhaps France’s most celebrated architect, who later initiated and won legal action against the government for flouting European free competition laws in their selection process). Here’s his design:

Stade de France - Nouvel design

Looks straightforward enough, right?  Look again. And again. And again. Below, the renderings show that Nouvel had come up with what he called

a radical solution that resolves the problem of the angle of view onto the playing fields and ensures optimal field lighting. The stadium is not partially modifiable- it is 100% flexible. A complementary flexibility is included: the sliding roof maximizes sunshine on the field and shades the stands in summertime. The underside of the grandstands is lined with retractable awnings that hang from the level of the stands. The stadium will be for between 25 and 80,000 spectators.

So, you know, just in case you ever need a stadium where the stands, roof and pretty much everything else moves, you know who to call.

Stade de France - Nouvel design
Stade de France - Nouvel design
Stade de France - Nouvel design
Stade de France - Nouvel design
Stade de France - Nouvel design

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