Stadium Galgenwaard, Utrecht


A transformation in two stages

FC Utrecht is a proud football club with a formidable reputation. Things can go wild at Galgenwaard stadium. To bring the 1981 stadium up to date with the current requirements and the ambitions of the club, a major expansion and renovation was necessary. These took place in two phases, between 2001 and 2003. The architectural studio ZJA provided a design that allowed for matches to continue all season long without interfering with the building activities.

The existing stadium Galgenwaard was in fact a collection of four separate stands. The aim of the present design was to unify Galgenwaard, to provide the supporters of FC Utrecht with an open and inviting home under one roof. The new main building is conceived around a large vide, an open and light space that gives visitors access to all the functions in the building. The high glass front and the slender steel constructions make sure there is a coherent visual and spacious experience.

The available space under the stands is cleverly put to use by housing offices and dressing rooms. A glass wall separating the corridor that players use to reach the pitch and the transit space for supporters allows for an experience of nearness.

A large unifying gesture

In the second phase, in 2003, a more extensive step was taken. The new stands on the south side were completed, housing four levels of sports facilities. An indoor athletic track and courts for basketball and volleyball form part of the facilities. On the west and east side of the stadium the old commercial spaces were demolished and replaced by new, larger spaces for shops. More parking space was added. A new so called supporters’ promenade provides food concessions and restrooms. Supporters reach their seats using new steel staircase on the outside of the stadium. After this renovation and extension Galgenwaard can now seat up to 23.750 spectators, double the original number.

What distinguishes this design for Galgenwaard is the fact that it achieves an enormous transformation, that completely builds on the existing structures. The stadium has doubled in capacity but gained in intimacy. The extension goes hand in hand with a large and unifying gesture. To top off the transformation of Galgenwaard, a single-piece hundred meters long latticework truss was placed to bring all four parts of the stadium under one roof. That has a significant impact on the cheering crowd. The atmosphere is the result of the experience of a coherent interior space around the pitch. The renewed Galgenwaard resembles an English stadium in this respect. Moreover, the majestic white truss is a landmark highlighting Galgenwaard from afar.

Client: FC Utrecht
Principal: Bouwbedrijf Midreth
Year: 2001 and 2003

Project: #167



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