Stadium Luka Šokčević Šaljapin in Gunja
Marko Mihaljević

Stadium Luka Šokčević Šaljapin in Gunja

GEplus arhitekti as Architects

In 2014 major floods hit eastern Croatia causing, among casualties, catastrophic damage to infrastructure, including football one.

Croatian Football Federation together with World (FIFA) and European (UEFA) Football Federation gathered funds for reconstruction of 5 football fields in villages Posavski Podgajci, Drenovci, Račinovci, Strošinci and Gunja with a new stadium in Gunja which, today, represents a crown of the entire reconstruction.

GEplus arhitekti were recognized as a team of experts for football infrastructure and selected for the project.

The challenge and conceptual focus while designing was on redefining the typology of small football stadiums in general and on integration of modern architecture and design into a rural landscape.

The building is located in a green, almost park-like, ambiance which is characterized by linden alley planted on the very edge of the parcel.

By designing the stadium to raise out of the field, designer creates symbiosis of architecture and the environment as well as symbolic memory of the event created by embankment breakage.

The balancing element of the composition is an L canopy with the stadium name inscription with its own  monumental character.

The visual identity of the building arises from meeting the basic needs for performing sports function. The materials used are chosen in the spirit of this rudimentary functionality which is why natur concrete prevails in both interior and exterior. The building fits in perfectly with the rural landscape typical of Slavonija and Gunja village. The most prominent element of stadium's visual identity stands out in its main facade. It is made out of bricks and gives a monumental value given that the bricks originate from the ruined houses destroyed by floods. By selecting between 12,000 preserved pieces, the best ones were used through special re-built technology.

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