Urban development for ADO stadium and environs

The city of The Hague was keen for ADO The Hague to continue playing major league soccer in a befitting stadium. The former location – the Zuiderpark in The Hague – was too small to accommodate any extra facilities. Commissioned by the municipality of The Hague, ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects made a design for a new, multifunctional stadium that could accommodate a hotel, offices and various commercial functions.

At the time, the final location was unknown; the city had to choose from three locations. ZJA made a design for one of the three locations, the ‘Gavi-lot’, situated between the A4 and the A12, near the Prins Clausplein. The stadium needed to accommodate 15.000 to 20.000 visitors, who could reach the stadium by means of a so-called ‘people-mover’, departing from public transport locations already planned. A spacious parking garage underneath the stadium was included in the design.

The stadium had to offer various functions to remain profitable. This commercial interpretation of the stadium included office buildings, large-scale retail business, recreational spaces and a hotel. At first the commercial facilities were to be located under the stands. At a later stage, commercial buildings surrounding the stadium were also planned.

Undulating landscape of gleaming aluminium

The stadium for football club ADO in The Hague was eventually built next to the motorway A12 and A4 and designed by ZJA. The stadium is covered with an aluminium skin, in which light apertures emerge like perforated elements. It creates the impression of one volume, rather than the sum of separate parts. The same material is used for the façade, which merges with the roof over the stands. Seen from the Prince Clausplein, a wavy landscape of gleaming aluminium unfolds for the car driver, with as recognizable feature the lighting masts integrated into the roofstructure.

Three circular access roads regulate logistics to assure that supporters easily reach their seats. The outer ring regulates the flow of cars, leading them to the 3.500 parking spaces. In a completely obstacle-free zone around the stadium, the pedestrians are divided over the various entries to the stadium. Inside the stadium, visitors move through the so-called ADO passage: this “street” with food and beverage facilities and fan shops is fifteen meters wide and broader than is common.

The stadium has 15.000 seats and offers optimal sight lines from the stands and seats close to the field: the lower rows are just four meters from the grass. The concrete structure has taken into account an expansion to 27.000 seats.

Sporting experience is at the forefront in the stadium. In the central hall, the walking routes of visitors and athletes cross each other, giving visitors a glimpse of their sports idols. The layout of the stands also contributes to the best possible sporting experience: instead of the classic layout with four dead straight stands and open corners, the concrete stands continue around the corner so that the wave can continuously flow across the stands. The roof of the stadium follows the line of the stands giving more supporters a dry seat. Finally, the acoustics of the stadium are kept 'hard' so that the buzz is already heard on entry.

Around the football stadium a circle of additional services is anticipated: shops, showrooms, a car wash and a multiplex cinema. A football stadium is, on average, only used for a couple of hours every two weeks. The additional commercial functions guarantee an intensive use of the location and create activity even when there is no football game going on. The stadium was the first building to be realized; the other functions will be built in a later phase, and be given the same appearance as the stadium.

Project: #238 + #315