Za(breg) 2012 / njiric+ arhitekti

njiric+ arhitekti‘s design for a large stadium has been nicknamed as the “Blue Volcano” by the public and the press, an overwhelming built form that creates a presence in the city, a new landmark for the area.  The stadium was conceived not as a building typology but rather as a topography. Using the natural undulation of the landscape, the new civic arena is housed within an artificial hill made of recycled rubber and blue pigment sprayed onto corrugated aluminium sheets.

More about the stadium after the break.


Bigness. The size of the stadium goes beyond the human experience of public spaces. It’s overwhelming quality comes from the simple fact of an exceptional proportion and as an extreme accumulation of built form. The stadium as The Presence, an object which is “just there“. The new landmark for the city.


While the expression on the exterior of the undulating landscape is quite minimal, all the dynamics of roof construction are visible from the interior.  The threshold then becomes an important transition space as it defines the line of a dramatic change, “the revealing of space from minimal to maximal.”

The stadium houses various commercial programs linked to the nearby retail areas.  Plus, a number of side-events, such as skateboarding and free-climbing, utilize the form of the exterior.

A zeppelin-like balloon structure covers the central area which phenomenologically, represents a symbiotic partnership with the mound.  The “cloud” serves as a signal, as a screen that reflects the spectacle into the broader public space. In addition to sheltering the playing field, the cloud has sewn-in photovoltaics that generate energy.

The combination of steel cables, ETFE membranes and polycarbonate dome create a super light construction system.


Architects: njiric+ arhitekti, Hrvoje Njiric, Erich Ranegger, Jelena Botteri, David Kabalin, Fuminori Nosaku, Josip Micetic,


architecture: Vedran Skopac, Mladen Freskura, Ervin Poljak
structure: Wilhelm Spirk – Spirk+Partner GmbH, Roland Birkmann – Spirk+Partner GmbH
fire protection: Branimir Acinger, Zeljko Muzevic
renderings: Damir Stefanic, Erick Velasco, Jurica Barisic, Sasa Perusinovic

Client: Grad
Location: Kajzerica, Zagreb
Size: 188 905 m2
Status: competition 1st prize

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Za(breg) 2012 / njiric+ arhitekti" 30 Dec 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 16 Sep 2014. <>


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    “…designed to push the boundary of ‘human experiences of public spaces.’”

    I bet once people get over the wow factor, they’ll soon find themselves with a vast area of an empty and uninviting concrete parking lot…

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    Zagreb in the renderings looks as though it’s suffering from air pollution problems or maybe it’s just fog. I’m not convinced that a blue rubber and aluminum volcano is a natural undulation of the Croatian landscape. Skateboarding on a giant rubber volcano would be fun, phenomenologically.

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    It looks like the Brand New stadium

    JVC …stadium

    In Jalisco, Mexico…

    such a big far..

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    “ fora large stadium..”
    does anyone get what this means?
    or have nj&arc really used google translate xixi
    would fit their character and potential,also proved with “the blue volcano”
    thanks to everyone for the comments above, made my day xD
    and for everyone non – croatian, “fora” means “cool”

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