Danish architects CEBRA have won the competition to design Næstved Arena, a new multipurpose venue for sports, music and culture events in eastern Denmark. Located in a green urban pocket, the arena is surrounded by a football stadium and sports hall on one side and a residential area on the other. The 10.000 m2 arena opens new possibilities for attracting national and international events to the region. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014 and has a capacity of 2,500-4,000 spectators, depending on the type of event. More images and architects’ description after the break.
This location has had a major impact on the architects’ design of the winning proposal: The compact building volume is placed in continuation of the existing stadium in order pull the structure away from the adjoining housings. This initial decision makes it possible to transform the open space towards the residential area into a green urban park with a street basketball court, playground and recreational areas.
The arena’s basic and stringent volume is softened by a façade of undulating protrusions of varying heights, which are adjusted to the corresponding internal functions, as well as plant containers, which are incorporated into the façade’s perforated aluminium panels. Thus, the building’s quite massive appearance is reduced and the building forms a gradual transition to the park.
Atmosphere and Functionality
The primary focus of Næstved Arena’s design is to combine atmosphere and sense of community spirit with effective functionality and logistics in order to create a new cultural meeting place. In many ways, an arena can be compared to the “experience machine” of a television set: We are preoccupied with its appearance and even more with the quality of the experiences it delivers to us while we don’t show much interest for the engineering behind the screen – as long as it functions smoothly. Nonetheless, the experience machine consists of atmosphere and functionality in equal parts.
The arena’s architecture is both inviting and introvert: The atmosphere already comes into play when the spectator arrives at the arena with joy of anticipation. The initial experience is based on the staging of the arrival situation – the square in front, the façade and the entrance area of the building, which together with the adjacent the park invite to meet and gather ahead of events. From there, the building volume’s rounded geometries lead towards the entrance and into the heart of the arena.
Once inside, the spectators arrive at the foyer level, from where they enter the central arena space, which is lowered so the floor is below ground level. The arena’s bowl-like shape and the surrounding stands’ sloping planes bring the building’s scale into play – they contribute to creating the intense and heaving atmosphere during sports events and concerts, where you feel small as an individual and large as a community at one and the same time.
The Adaptable Engine
The arena contains a collection of functions, which form the base for a complex and diverse range of usage patterns. When the usage changes between different types and scales of events, the relations between the building’s internal functions switch and adapt accordingly. Therefore, the arena is characterized by relative rather than absolute relations that express a logic yet versatile and flexible organisation, where “the machine” quickly and effectively can be configured according to the demands of the different scenarios.
In addition, the project contains a proposal for how the arena’s ceiling can be integrated as an active contributor to the overall experience by designing it as a giant LED screen. This media façade would add a unique dimension to the venue with a wide range of applications. During games or concerts the screen can be used as score or information board as well as for light shows. In the everyday use of the arena the ceiling can serve as a low-energy lighting alternative and create areas with varying light intensity or even display the coach’s strategy, tactics and training exercises in a 1:1 scale via tablet or smartphone.
Location: Næstved, Denmark
Turnkey Contractor: Hansen & Andersen
Client: Næstved Municipality
Services: Architectural services incl. landscape
Category: Sports and culture
Purpose: Multipurpose arena for sports, music and culture events
Size: 10,000 m2GFA new building
Budget: DKK 68m / € 9,1m excl. VAT
Award: Competition 1st prize
Year: 2013-2014 - ongoing