The Steering Committee of the French Rugby Federation (FFR) has retained the services of Populous and Ateliers 2/3/4 for the design of the Grand Stade FFR. After several months of discussions with three competing groups, the FFR has made its choice of designers and has issued the first computer-rendered images of the new ‘garden’.
The FFR intends the 82,000 capacity venue to become the ‘national stadium of rugby’. The stadium also embodies the ambition and future vision of the FFR, both in a sporting and a commercial sense.
Pierre Camou, President of the FFR said:
“Today, we have taken a fundamental step which embodies a strong ambition and a vital project for the FFR, allowing it to be autonomous and master of its future. Now we know what this ‘garden of french rugby’ will look like…a modern, innovative and multifunctional venue which can take part fully in the national and international sports landscape.”
Serge Blanco, Vice President of the FFR in charge of the project, added:
“The three project submissions were all of high technical quality, combining innovation and aesthetics. The proposal made by Populous and Ateliers 2/3/4/ proved to be the most suitable to meet the objectives that we have set for the medium and long term. It fits perfectly with the idea that we are creating the multifunctional stage par excellence.”
The FFR has built the business plan on 17 to 20 events a year, including five to six games of the French national rugby team and the final of the TOP 14. The sale of naming rights is part of the funding plan. The FFR denies that the project has ever been part of putting pressure on the Stade de France and its rental terms.
After publishing its tender document, the FFR received 21 submissions from architects and project managers . It invited three candidate groupings (Arte Charpentier and HKS, Foster and Partners Regembal Architecture and Populous and Ateliers 2/3/4) to a running dialogue through 2012.