A project put on hold in 2020 is coming back to life. In December 2021, FaulknerBrowns Architects, MoederscheimMoonen Architects and CULD updated and finalized a green design plan for Stadium de Braak in Helmond, Netherlands.
Campus de Braak stadium is a multifunctional design intended for use by professional soccer club Helmond Sport and a school that holds several gyms, a youth soccer club and a physiotherapy practice with gardens and walking trails integrated around the grounds. The stadium integrates into the surrounding landscape, and the interior involves efficient, shared spaces that reinvent what a stadium can be.
The stadium keeps a low profile that flows seamlessly out into walking paths and a running track. Surrounding gardens wrap the new stadium into the surrounding neighborhood and natural landscape.
Stadium de Braak’s low exterior features a curtain-style series of golden-brown columns. The columns are offset from the building’s surface, giving it a flared, dynamic shape that flows around the exterior. Columns circle the building and open to reveal entrances on different sides of the facility. The facade of the building is composed of glass and a dark cladding that contrasts with the front’s lighter columns.
The stands in Stadium de Braak will only seat 3,600 people to start but can be expanded with a further 1,400 covered seats. Embankments blend the level of the playing field into the stands at either end of the stadium, creating a close connection between the fans and the players.
Designers behind the project sought to make the project as green as possible and integrated into the surrounding landscape. Native hornbeam and pine trees will be planted around the campus, and the building’s low profile is expected to reduce heat stress and lower water storage requirements compared to traditional stadiums. The design team wanted the stadium to contribute to a healthy sports and educational culture and adapt to the climate while supporting biodiversity.
The running track circles the stadium’s exterior. A circular route for pedestrians and bikes runs parallel to the running track. At the four corners of the pedestrian path are a garden with ornamental grass, a flower garden, a play and climbing garden and a shrub garden. It’s a lovely rethinking of what a stadium and a sports facility can be and do for its community.
Images via Moederscheim Moonen