Belarusian soccer side FC BATE Borisov has opened the doors of its new stadium, designed by Slovenian firm, Ofis arhitekti.
Located in a forest area south of Borisov city centre, the 13,000-seat arena creates a new larger home stadium for FC BATE Borisov; the reigning champions of the Belarusian Premier League.
The idea of a new stadium had been a long time in the making; first as a fans’ dreams, with the breakthrough being the Club’s entry into the UEFA Champions League group stage. The team’s performance in UEFA’s Europa League contributed to the aspirations of many and made clear the fact that the Club needed a new arena that could stage group stage matches of the European Club Competitions.
In December 2009, in an interview to Pressball newspaper after the away match against Everton FC, FC BATE Borisov Chairman, Anatoli Kapski, shared his thoughts:
In recent time we think a lot about a new stadium. Fans want to see a bigger ground in Borisov. We discussed it with town and region authorities. We plan to initiate construction of a stadium with 12-15 thousands capacity, that would give us opportunity to receive international group stage matches in Borisov. It should not be an expensive project, but modern, convenient and functional. There are enough examples in Europe. For example, Ljudski Vrt in Slovenia, stadium in Mainz, AZ Alkmaar stadium. This can also be used by the national team. I think our town deserved it.
The idea of a new stadium united all the football-lovers of Borisov, and in 2010, work began. Borisov MPs created an initiative group and addressed the president of the country, Alexander Lukashenko, with the idea of building a new stadium.
Vladimir Guminskiy, one member of the group, commented at the time:
[The] Town Stadium, in spite of UEFA license, does not meet the level that FC BATE has achieved. As a result, the club has to play its home matches in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League group stages in Minsk in Dinamo Stadium. What is more, soon the national stadium will be closed for renovation. And in Belarus there are no good stadiums to receive matches of this rank. We think our city has deserved the right to receive group stage matches of UEFA Competitions. That’s why we need a 12,000-15,000-capacity stadium. We can reconstruct the old one or build a new arena. And it is important that it meets all the UEFA criteria for games of high level. The head of the state gave the instruction to the Council of Ministers, Minsk Region Executive Committee together with Belarusian Football Federation to work through this idea and give their suggestions till 1 June 2010.
Having analysed the options, BATE chose Slovenian firm, Ofis arhitekti, which has a top reputation for its sports objects; the most well-known being Ljudski Vrt in Maribor, for which it was awarded a silver medal in the IOC/IAKS contest.
In the summer of 2010, architects Spela Videcnik and Rok Oman finished their work on the unique stadium project. This soccer-specific arena, with capacity for 12,548 spectators, meets UEFA Category 4 requirements, which means BATE can host not only the qualifying stages of European Competitions, but also group stage and knockout rounds of UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
The new stadium includes VIP/corporate boxes for more than 600 people, which are joined to the dressing rooms by a gallery that goes the whole way around the arena. Press box capacity can be changed depending on the demand; with some 144 seats equipped with tables but that can be increased to 256.
Great attention has been paid to safety and security, with the design meeting the requirements of both UEFA and FIFA, as well as to ensuring a fan-friendly experience. Flexibility of the arena gives the venue the opportunity to change the number of available food and catering points, as well as official merchandise outlets, depending on the number of tickets sold; with visiting fans egressing and ingressing via a dedicated gate.
The roof of the stadium is covered in metal sheets that allow light transfer through special lanterns hidden inside the roof structure. The floodlight lamps for the pitch are also located within the roof ends.
The building has its own, distinctive and modern character, based on environmental, user and environmentally-friendly approaches. The outside of the stadium forms a unified rounded impression of a single object, which despite the fact it is midsize, the seating seems large, dominant and powerful. Internally, the arena’s rounded shape provides good acoustics and atmosphere, and its north to south orientation ensures sunlight is evenly distributed across the pitch.
3,000m2 of public space is distributed throughout the ground floor level on the North, South and East stands. In the eastern part are the restaurant – which is used during the games as a VIP restaurant and a service elevator for catering serves the upper floor VIP lounge and the bar within the public foyer – and bowling. In the southern part is public fitness/gym. Other bars are for various commercial activities. All the restaurants have separate access from the platform.
Architect: OFIS Arhitekti
Project leaders: Rok Oman, Spela Videcnik
Project team: Janez Martincic, Rok Gerbec, Andrej Gregoric, Konstantine Bogoslavsky, Janja Del Linz, Katja Aljaz, Ana Kosi, Ieva Cicenaite, Grzegorz Ostrowski, Filip Knapczyk, Sergio Silva Santos
Collaborators: Lorna Jackson, Patrycja Majewska, Rita Dolmany, Dusan Chobor, Darko Ivanovski, Alex Manecan, Catalina Severin, Michele Albonetti
Engineering and local office: Magnus Group
Client: FC Bate, County of Borisov
Image credits: Tomaz Gregoric.
Source: FC BATE Borisov and Dezeen file:///C:/Users/User/Documents/PSAM%20digest%20we%20141114/OFIS%20Arhitekti%20completes%20bulging%20stadium%20for%20FC%20BATE%20Borisov.htm