The stadium design is conceived with the idea of harmony with the neighboring multi-purpose sports centre, but also with the consciousness to become a symbolic element and landmark for the whole university complex. Future symbol and "gateway" to the University campus, contains in its essence the typological and symbolic elements of the millennial history of the “stadiums – arenas”, and some distinguishing characteristics of Arabic culture. Covered with a golden skin just to bring up the most prestigious metal in sporting competitions and at the same time the fire of the Olympic Cauldron, the stadium opens itself to the visitors with the "royal door" designed with a clear Arabic forge: it marks the rite of passage from the everyday and ordinary world to the fantastic world of sports competitions and battles. As a source of Tantric sinuous form, the stadium covering closes on itself to accommodate its residents in a protective embrace, forming a cusp in the central part, with a clear reference to the traditional Arabic helmet. The access through the main doorway, reserved to the members of the royal family, is enriched by the position of the Tantric fountain at the centre of the main square, designed as a small miniature of the stadium cover. The building finally acquires organic form through a number of cuts, placed along the side areas, showing the structural ribs; the spaces left blank are then closed with large silk-screened windows invoking the concept of the typical Arab Mashrabiya.
Stadia, nowadays, are not simply the place appointed for the performance of sports activities of a community, but have become places representative of the community itself, of its progress and of its cosmopolitan being. The sport culture, traditionally linked to the brotherhood of peoples, makes use of high-profile sporting events that have to boost the image of the city in the world. Stadium = Landmark The latest examples of construction of sports facilities of this kind tend to advocate a view of the futuristic city, however, often forgetting the basic culture of the communities that they should represent. Our project idea seeks to combine the modernity of sign, form and function with a tradition always linked to spiritual and material representation. Using references to items easily visible throughout Saudi Arabia, in its architecture and in the geometry of its decorations, is opposed to the use of more natural forms, which tend to accompany the geometric rigor to an organic modernism. The arch and the gold domes, along with symbols of local culture, the half moon, the ancient style of helmets, are accompanied by forms that recall the fossils of large whales found in recent years in the desert. A golden skin, consisting of a ventilated wall that protects the building from sunlight and heat, which spans the impressive structural ribs placed along the outer ring, contains all the sporting passions by helping to hold up the bleachers. The triumphal portal, which opens on the west facade of the building faces in a game of solids and voids the large window located on the same axis but on the east facade, facing also the entrance of the nearby building for sports activities. The basement,through a perforated strip that runs all around the building, gives impetus and raises the building from the ground. The large windows, located on the north and south facades, complete the rigorous form relieving it at the same time, emphasizing the rhythm of the structure.
One of the first design issues is inherent to relationships between new stadium and both university campus and Al Hofuf town. The new stadium, derived from the Faculty of Physical Education and New Architectural Symbol of the university, will be accessible from the city without covering the university roads with large amount of cars. We imagine, therefore, to separate the traffic by creating two distinct levels: first, at grade, to connect the various areas of the campus and not accessible from the outside; the second, underground, dedicated tu accessibility to the stadium from the outside and connected to a multi-storey underground parking system. Building a medium sport facility such the king faisal university stadium, with 10.000 spectators attending to major events, made a careful study of peatonal and vehicular routes advisable.
In order to main competition request, the project need to allocate 10000 spectators, divided in vip (almost 25%) and standard (also divided in this case in men - 55/60% - and women (15/20%). Those main categories generated need for massive carparking areas. Due to the proximity of large parking areas inside university campus, it’s possible to imagine the part of spectators who lives and works in the university to move with public transport generating less parking demand.
The project, therefore, includes the provision of two multi-storey car parks, respectively dedicated to athletes, officials and VIPs, the first, and to other spectators, the second, for a total of 2000 parking lots.
Each parking area is connected by an appropriate number of elevators and escalators on the ground floor which is planned for all ticket and external services.
The flow separation of men and women is guaranteed by providing for women the whole eastern grandstand, served by separate entrances from the west grandstand.
Women are also dedicated an area, located next to the entrance of the eastern grandstand, where the same may be accompanied by family members without coming into contact with the rest of the spectators.
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