David Chipperfield Architects Berlin and Arup have unveiled the design of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games arena. The structure will sit in the core of Milano Santa Giulia, a new urban district currently under redevelopment in the south-east of Milan. The new arena will house sports and cultural events with up to 16,000 visitors, and offer individuals of all demographics a vast outdoor area that promotes social gatherings and recreational activities.
The Milano Santa Giulia masterplan is based on a Foster + Partners design, and features residential buildings, educational facilities, commercial and recreational buildings, and an extensive park. The arena's strategic central position creates a spacious piazza of over 10,000 sqm in the northern part of the site.
The structure's elliptical form is a reinterpretation of the amphitheater, reimagined with modern tectonics and materials. It is slightly rotated from the north-south axis, with a main entrance from the western side. The building is supported by a raised podium that occupies the majority of the site, and opens up to visitors through a wide flight of steps and a street-level entrance pierced within the podium. On top of this podium, which is made of mineral materials, the arena rises up in the form of three rings of various heights that are floating on top of each other. The metallic material of the podiums is characterized by aluminum tubes that glisten during the day and are illuminated during the night with LED strips. The rings are connected to each other and the floor by transparent glass bands.
Two tiers above the parterre level as well as a level with lounges and sky boxes are allocated in the interior of the arena. All seats and catering facilities are accessible via spacious lobbies at all levels. Car parking spaces are located within the podium as well as in a multi-storey car park that evolves from the podium and closes off the site towards the north. To ensure minimizing the consumption of resources and CO² emissions, the building includes photovoltaic systems on the roof which largely cover the needs of the energy-efficient building.
The project is expected to be complete by 2025. After the Games, the arena will be used as a concert hall, sports events arena, and festivals venue.