Innovative retractable roof proposed to protect Verona's historic ampitheatre

We wanted a design solution that respects and co-exists with the monument
– Flavio Tosi, Mayor of Verona

German studio GMP Arkitekten have won an international competition to add a retractable roof to Verona’s first century Roman amphitheatre.

City officials want to add the new roof to the historic open-air structure – which once hosted Roman sports and ceremonies, but is now primarily a concert venue – in order to better preserve the structure and protect spectators from bad weather.

The design competition was launched in March 2016 and 87 entries were submitted, with 28 per cent of them proposed by non-Italian practices. The jury considered the quality and consistency of the architectural solutions; the materials proposed; and the compatibility with the arena’s appearance, capacity and safety and environmental requirements.

"We think that supporting this competition is a great opportunity for our city,” said Sandro Veronesi, president of fashion firm Calzedonia Group, which has awarded €70,000 (US$75,200, £60,200) in prize money to GMP and the two runners-up.

“The elements are damaging the arena, and our primary objective is to safeguard it. This contest of ideas has allowed us to pursue a path in which we have always believed and invested in: supporting talent and real job opportunities for the younger generation.”

GMP’s design – which their Stuttgart office will now take to the development stage with engineering firm Schlaich Bergermann and Partners – envisions a perimeter ring resting on the top edge of the arena. A retractable fabric slide will hold a foldable cover sheet, with the cables hidden out of site below.

“The suspended ring solves the technical problem of supporting and accommodating the roof sheets, while offering an architectural figure consistent and appropriate with the structure from both the outside and inside,” explained the architects in a statement.

Mayor of Verona Flavio Tosi said: "The arena is historically and architecturally unique in the world. We want to ensure the protection and preservation of the old structure, while improving it as a place of entertainment with a design solution that respects and co-exists with the monument."

The design competition second prize went to architecture practice RTI Vincenzo Latina and third place was awarded to Roberto Gianfranco Maria Ventura.

Verona  GMP Arkitekten  Italy  Verona Arena  architecture  design  Ancient Rome  Calzedonia Group  Flavio Tosi 
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German studio GMP Arkitekten have won an international competition to add a retractable roof to Verona’s first century Roman amphitheatre. City officials want to add the new roof to the historic open-air structure – which once hosted Roman sports and ceremonies, but is now primarily a concert venue – in order to better preserve the structure and protect spectators from bad weather. The design competition was launched in March 2016
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A retractable fabric slide will hold a foldable cover sheet, with the cables hidden out of site below / Comune di Verona
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