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Italian architects design 'artificial hill' to enclose Riyadh stadium

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The Pickaquoy Centre
£34,544pa (pending pay award) + Local Govt pension + benefits
location: Orkney, Scotland, United Kingdom
New Hall School
£25,000pa + excellent benefits
location: Chelmsford, Essex, United Kingdom
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£40,056 - £44,934pa + local govt pension + benefits
location: Epping Forest, Essex, United Kingdom
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Our proposal starts from the idea of solving the new functional requirements by introducing shapes and volumes that not only are integrated into the existing architecture but enhance the value of the stadium itself
– Amedeo and Andrea Schiattarella

Italian architects Schiattarella Associati have won an international competition to refurbish the 50,000 capacity King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The studio have been commissioned to design the project by the country’s General Sport Authority (GSA), which said it was impressed by their decision to create an artificial hill at the base of the multi-purpose stadium, creating a formal joint with the surrounding landscaping.

This sloping surface forms a semicircle around the stadium and covers a newly-created public plaza, 1,000 parking spaces and pedestrian routes to the West Stand – which has been modified to meet FIFA standards. As such, currently disjointed amenities surrounding the stadium will be housed under one roof, creating a new sense of unity.

The design also creates a smoother transition from the ground to the stadium’s terraces, while retaining the building’s rib vaults; an iconic part of the city’s urban landscape.

“Our proposal starts from the idea of solving the new functional requirements by introducing shapes and volumes that not only are integrated into the existing architecture but enhance the value of the stadium itself,” said studio founders Amedeo and Andrea Schiattarella.

In the future, the architects said the artificial hill could be expanded, with the hemicycle gradually becoming a full circle that covers additional facilities, such as hospitality areas and arcades.

The GSA will begin the construction tender process in the next few weeks. Italian engineering company Proge77 will act as structural consultant for the project.

Schiattarella Associati have designed several projects in the Middle East, including the Celebration Hall cultural complex in Riyadh, the Art Center project in Addirriyah and the Qatar Underwater Archaeological Museum.

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Italian architects Schiattarella Associati have won an international competition to refurbish the 50,000 capacity King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
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