'One of the world's top 5 stadiums': Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitana ready for action

Atletico are already one of the top teams in Europe, and this stadium can take them to the very top
– Antonio Cruz, co founder Cruz y Ortiz

The striking new home for Spanish football side Atletico Madrid is ready to host its first match, with construction finally completed on the 68,000 capacity Wanda Metropolitano stadium.

The club has invested a reported €300m on the new ground – which replaces the Vicente Calderon Stadium, its home of over 50 years – in order to propel them to the sport’s elite level.

Spanish architecture practice Cruz y Ortiz were responsible for the project. Rather than building a new stadium from scratch, they were tasked with renovating and expanding the existing Estadio Olímpico de Madrid – a 20,000-seat athletics venue built in 1994.

Parts of the original concrete stand have been incorporated into the new stadium, with much of the remainder demolished in order for new stands to be added, more than trebling the capacity.

“Our aim was not to recreate the famous atmosphere appearance of the Calderon,” the studio’s co-founder Antonio Cruz told CLADglobal. “This was a new proposition, and our responsibility was to find something new to help the club take another step forward. At this moment, Atletico are already one of the top teams in Europe, and this stadium can take them to the very top.”

Cruz said the biggest challenge was unifying the existing elements of the Estadio Olímpico structure with the newly-constructed ones.

“Our answer was to cover it with a new roof,” he explained. “It brings everything together as one building. We’ve adopted a new technique never used before to make a canopy membrane – using an exterior steel and double height compression ring, an interior traction ring and two sets of radial cables. It’s the most innovative part of this project.”

The open tensile structure, built by construction firm FCC, weighs around 6,336 tons, and the membrane occupies a surface area of 83,053sq m. A video showing its installation can be viewed below:

Advanced technology has also been integrated into the new stadium, including three jumbo screens, a videomapping facade on the exterior of the stadium, and 1,200 wifi elements to ensure easy internet access.

“The club wanted advanced technology from the beginning,” said Cruz. “We enjoyed and appreciated that challenge. We were set the target of building one of the five best stadiums in the world and a building that can be used long into the future, hosting top national and international finals."

Other features of the stadium include a fan plaza open on matchdays, where spectators can enjoy music, entertainment and interviews with notable club figures. A retail megastore will be among 16 commercial outlets, and a club museum is also planned.

Atletico were permitted by the Spain’s La Liga to play their first three games of the new season away from home, allowing workers to add the final touches to the Wanda Metropolitan. The stadium will host its first match on 16 September, for the league visit of Malaga.

A timelapse video released by the club shows the final touches being made in preparation.

Atletico are the latest La Liga side to upgrade their home ground. New stadiums are also in the pipeline for La Liga rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid, with architecture firms Nikken Sekkei and gmp architekten respectively designing those projects.

Atletico Madrid  Madrid  Spain  La Liga  Cruz y Ortiz  Wanda Metropolitana  Antonio Cruz  architecture  design 
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