Along the river Somes, in Cluj there are several sport facilities which came one after the other creating a green axis. First, the stadium from 1911, then the Sports Park from the 30’s, the Sports Hall and the Olympic Swimming pool from the 70’s and finally the new stadium Cluj Arena in 2011. The new sports hall, under construction, was designed to be integrated into the recent development of the stadium. It is the companion of the stadium, belonging to the same generation and defining a complex for activities, very close to the city centre. It is meant to work as an extension with easy access for the activities in the central area and along the river, the generator of the city. The powerful design of the stadium requires a strong architectural reply both for integration and for individualization of the new project. The design concept is built on contrasts and integration through continuation of major themes used for the stadium, but it is an interpretation with new elements. The contrast is between inside and outside, transparency and opaqueness - in different degrees and combinations - fluid and rectangular, Euclidian and parametric. The Sports Hall is a passage from the outside world towards the introverted show world for the sports theater. It passes through an intermediate status, between the facade and the hall itself, where, between the shining white (the same like the stadium envelope) and the dark black of the playground stage, the passenger enjoys a very colored environment. It’s the land of orientation. The facade is multilayered. Outside it consists of a giant mesh parametrically generated, reminding of the net used for different games, which undulates when hit by a ball or at a goal. The second layer, the actual enclosure, is partially translucent and partially transparent for direct sights carefully placed at key points. It is prepared for a new big lamp of the city, shining at show time. The arena is adaptable by removing structures for different scenarios for sports and concerts. The ultimate place to be conquered is a part of the roof terrace, prepared for a restaurant with fantastic views along the river, towards the city and, of course, to the stadium.
photos: Alexandra BENDEA; Cosmin DRAGOMIR