Hill of Fame

  • contemporary architecture

Among other cities, the list of possible candidates to host FIFA World Cup in 2018 includes Nizhniy Novgorod. For the famous Nizhniy Novgorod’s “Strelka” (“Arrow”, place where the Oka flows into the Volga), “Studio 44” has designed a stadium in the shape of man-made green hill topped off with a white cup.


  • Architect:

    Nikita Yavein

    Nikita Yavein
  • Firm:
    Studio 44
  • Object:
    50 Thousand People Football Stadium in Nizhniy Novgorod
  • Address:
    Russia. Nizhny Novgorod
  • Design Team:
    Leader of the project: Nikita Yavein Architects: Yuri Ashmetyev, Darya Bazhenova, Maria Vinogradova, Ilia Grigoryev, Julia Dubeiko, Vladimir Zenkevich, Ivan Kozhin, Vladimir Lemekhov, Eugene Novosadyuk, Andrew Patrikeev, George Snezhkin, Ksenia Schastlivtseva, Ekaterina Tretyakova, Maxim Tsybin, Anton Yar-Skryabin Maquette: Jacob Itsikson Building engineer: Victor Maksimychev Cost estimator: Eleonora Shiryaeva

The construction site is located on the left bank of the Oka right where it flows into the Volga, its total area being 45.5 acres. Today, this part of Strelka area is but starting to develop – from the southeast side it is bordered by the future extension of Sovnarkomovskaya Street, from the northwest side – by the extension of Bettencourt Street, and from the northeast – by the Volga embankment that is now under construction. The fact that this territory is in need of some kind of high-profile object, has long since been discussed – Strelka yields a beautiful view from the water area of both rivers, and it plays an important part in many of the local cityscapes. The idea to build a stadium here is arguably the best possible solution for this area – one can hardly find such a dramatic typology that presupposes such bold architectural experiments. But then again, “Studio 44” laid its main stress on the ecological properties of the designed object.

Studio 44” designs the football stadium as a green hill in the heart of which lies the football field (105 x 65 m) with a three-level amphitheater with 33 thousand spectator seats, while its top is crowned a snow-white cup of the upper stands capable of receiving yet another 9 thousand people. The architects surround the arena with the premises that serve the participants of the game (sportsmen, coaches, judges, etc), as well as with maintenance and administrative facilities serving the spectator infrastructure. At the same time, the parking garages, cafes, shops, and toilets are scattered over the different levels of the outer contour of the building – the architects cover the terrace steps with topsoil, thanks to which the whole structure starts to look like a giant cone-like gently sloping hill.

The green slopes of this hill are traversed by thirty stairways leading to the stands of each spectator sector, and, shifted relatively to one another in a staggered fashion, they form strikingly looking diagonal cutaways. Apart from the stairways, the stadium’s vertical communications system includes elevators and moving stairs in the main entrance area, where the hill grandly “opens up”. It is these top 9-thousand-seat stands that will provide the arena with the total capacity that is necessary for the organization of football games of the world’s and Europe’s championships.

The pylons raise the upper stands three meters above the hill, which makes the cup look like it hovers above the ground. The subliminal likeness to a UFO is strengthened manifold by the stairways running along each of the pylons: in the bottom of the “cup” the architects cut rectangular “portals”, out of which, numerous ladders fall down to the ground.

The slopes of the hill will help the sport complex to maintain a comfortable microclimate, accumulating warmth in the wintertime and providing the premises from overheating in the summertime. Apart from that, the facades executed in the shape of a terrace park will become the generators of fresh air and will provide an unprecedented percentage of site landscaping, while the slopes of the green hill and the passage over the viewing platforms will make it possible to organize exciting architectural guided tours here. In other words, the stadium built as a terrace park and having no shortage of viewing platforms and entertainment spots will become not only the city’s epicenter of major sport events and a high-profile sight but also a great attraction for people from all walks of life.

Text by: Nikita Yavein, Anna Martovitskaya
Translated by Anton Mizonov

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