The Jakob-Park Stadium, home of FC Basel, is getting an update to extend its lifespan after 20 years of use. Originally designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the architecture reform aims to provide better hospitality to visitors by restructuring the access and optimizing security to keep the stadium open even on non-match days. The proposal also contemplates replacing the iconic facade with a sweeping roof to give the stadium a unified appearance and broadcast the events outside.
Completed in 2001 in place of a previous building from the 1950s, the 35,600-seat stadium is not only home to the FC Basel; it is the center of the sports town and a Basel urban landmark. Located proximate to the St. Jakobshalle arena, the renovated square between both event venues will become an urban meeting place for fans and spectators. Stressing on the social benefit of the stadium, the expansion into a terraced perimeter will optimize visitor flows, and enables separate access for home and away fans. Moreover, minimizing security barriers will make the stadium accessible to the public even on non-match days.
Maintaining the value of the existing building, Herzog & de Meuron proposes a photovoltaic shell to get a unified appearance of the whole building. New lattice girders connect to the existing structure from the existing roof and cantilever over the new platforms. Shaped as a subtle diamond pattern (red and blue that correspond to the club colors of FC Basel) the photovoltaic cells recreate the Basel landscape, such as the roofs of the town hall or the cathedral. As well, this dynamic façade works as a public screen for broadcasting the events taking place.
The updates integrate various aspects of ecological sustainability. The photovoltaic shell generates energy for largely self-use, and its components can be dismantled and reused. The sweeping solar roof is structurally optimized concerning minimum material consumption and collects rainwater to irrigate the playing field on site.
Herzog & de Meuron is making a statement with this renovation: The «Joggeli» (affectionately called) belongs to the city, fans, and visitors. Their vision of better hospitality in buildings is also replicated in their proposal for a Mass Timber Mixed-Use Development in Austin, Texas. The project offers occupants and passersby a human scale and a sense of domestic comfort. Herzog & de Meuron is also designing Three New Museums in Qatar along with OMA and ELEMENTAL. The buildings explore the Middle East and Islamic Art across large gallery spaces, a library, an auditorium, and other public facilities.