In 1911 the first athletic and soccer stadium was built in Cluj, near the Central Park and close to the river. A wooden tribune gave shelter to the spectators. After 50 years, in 1961, a new concrete stadium was built replacing the old one. It had a horse shoe shape, and it received after some time the name of a famous Romanian athlete. After another 50 years, following more than a decade of debates and proposals, the new Cluj Arena was built and opened to the public in 2011.
The most important conceptual element of this project is the transparency allowing visual connections between the outside context and the indoor pool of activities. It also works vice-versa through the visual permeability of the facades which allows the sights to escape and to keep the public connected to the park and the hills.
At city scale level we experienced the need for a symbolic contemporary landmark, for which we have chosen a mixture of fluid and flowing shapes, a large artificial landscape in constant relation with the winding Somes River and the nearby park. The artificial slope surrounding the tribunes connects the green of the park to the built environment, reduces the scale of the building and offers a second promenade from the access areas, wherefrom the public can take a glimpse at the everyday life arena.
The daytime image of the Arena is enhanced by the complexity and diversity of natural daylight conditions and especially by the brushing light of the morning and the sunset along the river. In the evening, the Arena unravels two different images: a soft, warm light embraces the rhythms of structure and facades, and whenever a show enflames the arena, the building transforms into the largest lamp of the city, a contemporary lighthouse. The Arena has now a new companion, The Multifunctional Sports Hall, that was completed recently right beside, opening a new architectural dialogue.
For the conference room three different HunterDouglas® Ceiling systems were used:
Prestige wood tile ceilings, Trend wood tile wall cladding, Linear wood open system, Wood grid system wall application, Aluminium Multi Panel- and V100 Ceilings and Techstyle® acoustical ceilings. Plain Prestige and Trend wood panels were used in the front of the conference room while in the rear of the room perforated panels with a non-woven acoustical fleece were applied. The Techstyle® acoustical ceiling is used as an artificial skylight. The pleasing design was the results of close collaboration with the architect and the installer and the Hunter Douglas team.
Completed in late 2011, Cluj Arena is the second stadium with modern facilities built to international standards in Romania. It is considered a 5-star stadium. Its location within the city has a privileged position in the axis of leisure and sport developed along the course of the Somes River, being very easily approachable and near downtown. Following the same visual strategy of transparency, the facades are translucent, allowing free and startling overview to the surroundings through the woven strips or parted “gills” made of punctured sheet. The picture of the day relied on the complexity and diversity of the sunshine conditions and especially on the grazing light of the morning and the sunset along the river.
Cluj Arena stadium project was coordinated by the Faculty of Architecture of Cluj-Napoca. The architectural team had been granted the top award within the Event of the Order of Architects of Romania Awards in 2011. Cluj Arena project enjoys a special appreciation both at home and abroad. The systems used for this project are the Curtain wall system M6 and the hinged system M11500.