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The public was presented the project of Christian de Portzamparc, who won the international competition for the Arena-92 building, a large stadium, which in Paris is going to be built right behind the arch of Defence.
The Parisian quarter of the skyscrapers of Defense, as you know, is a very large boulevard, densely planted with greenery, modern sculptures, and fountains of various colors and surrounded by office skyscrapers, which, however, are not very visible behind the trees. A large football field adjoins the wall of the park-behind-arch, which is called the Stade des Bouvets. The owner of the rugby club Racing-Métro 92 Jacques Lorenzetti decided to build the giant “Arena 92” in the place of this field.
An architectural competition was announced in April 2010. In July, the jury identified a shortlist of four architects who were further invited to participate in the so-called dialogue competition. In this second stage, each architect was required not only to finalize the project, but also to present the team of professionals of different profiles, including the contractor, and prove that this team is able to fulfill the order.
The appearance of Arena 92
According to the architect himself, he made the stadium look like “a concrete strand flying over the ground.” Concrete “strand” or even “crown” supports the necklace of glass-metal “scales”, freely letting in the light. We must say that this description is more than exhaustive: the form proposed for the giant arena by Pritzker’s laureate is very simple and recalls the stadiums of the 1980s – at least if we compare it to the many stadiums of the 2000s.
Arena is a rectangle with rounded corners, which should occupy the entire spot of the existing field. The volume is covered with a concrete cap, similar to a beret, slightly broken, not as an artist from Montmartre, but as a clerk from Defence. It is modest but pretty big. It also looks like a pillow. If the strand is not a romantic young man, then it is a manager in a jacket and with a tie.
The arena is not as expensive as similar projects – and in France, it can really turn out to be environmentally friendly, make Nanterre a real city, and give to its inhabitants as much as 100,000 hours of work. Yes, and workers of beautiful office towers will be able to listen to an opera or a rock concert in a society of forty thousand similar ones.