The structural state of the Feijenoord Stadium made renovation a necessity. This situation was taken advantage of in order to refurbish the stadium to the latest standards. A canopy covering all the stands and a separate building with extra facilities was added to the old stadium.
Brinkman and Van der Vlugt built Feijenoord Stadium in 1936. It is an icon for the worlds of both sport and architecture, and it has now been designated a monument.
As far as possible the existing stadium was retained. The only radical alteration to the existing stands was made on the east side, in order to provide space for business units, a new grandstand and more luxurious seating for the corporate public. These places are connected with the 'Maasgebouw' building via sloped walkways. Although it was not designed with that intention, these aerial walkways are somewhat reminiscent of the Van Nelle factory, a monumental example of Dutch functionalist architecture of the 1930s. All the standing room in the old stand layout has been replaced and all the seating has been renewed. There are now 51,000 seats in total.
The extremely lightweight steel structure for the stands is characteristic of the old building. The new additions, the canopies for the stands and the Maasgebouw on the east side, leave the original building as intact as possible and were designed to be independent of it.
The canopy was designed as a wrap-around, freestanding ring that seems to float above the stands, in the same way that the upper tier of the stands seems to float above the tier below it in the old stadium. The supporting structure for the new canopy encircles the existing structure, so there are no columns obstructing the view from the stands and the canopy is freestanding. Seen from the outside, the new columns contribute to the side-wing effect that characterized the structure of the old stands.
The canopy has a triangular section and is rendered in the form of a space-frame structure as an uninterrupted ring. Interconnecting the trusses with a compression ring on the pitch side and with a tension ring on the outside resulted in a rigid structure, with a free overhang projecting towards the pitch that balances perfectly on the thin columns encircling the stadium. The construction is similar to a bicycle wheel that retains its form because it is kept under tension by the spokes between the axle and the rim of the wheel.
On the field side the canopy is clad with aluminium-coloured sheets. The outer ring is covered with transparent plastic sheeting. This accentuates the effect of a freestanding, floating ring above the stadium, especially when the canopy is illuminated from inside at night.
The canopy drains into a gutter on the pitch side of the roof. From this lowest point the rainwater is pumped upwards by 16 pumps, as with a polder, and is drained off along the outer facade of the stadium.
The elongated Maasgebouw, which looks out over the practice pitch, stands on the east side of the stadium parallel to the length of the football pitch. It provides space for all activities that require no direct view of the playing field in the stadium, such as Feijenoord's 'Home of History' museum, a restaurant, business lounges, offices and so on. The design of the building is restrained by giving it a sober, green glazed facade with detailing that is as plain as possible. The new building thus stands in sharp contrast with the filigree structure of the original stadium.
Client: Stadion Feyenoord
Winner: De Nederlandse Bouwprijs 1995, Dutch Steel Award 1996