FOJAB arkitekter designs new sports stadiums on ancient land

FOJAB arkitekter has been commissioned to design the new arena area in Uppsala, Studenternas. With football and bandy arenas and a location right on the Fyrisån river, it will be a landmark in the city. The large football stadium will meet Allsvenskan and UEFA requirements, but will also be the public's new meeting place with open foyers and plenty of activities between matches.

- "This is a wonderful project - an open and active arena," says Per Aage Nilsson, responsible at FOJAB arkitekter. The facility is located in a green sports and recreation area. People will be able to stroll through the open foyers, take a workout, have a bite to eat or sit in the stands in the sun to watch the home team train.

FOJAB arkitekter, which has been involved in the design of Swedbank Stadium in Malmö, was invited back in 2011, as one of three offices, to a competition with the aim of investigating the entire Södra Åstråket, an area that extends along the Fyrisån river and borders the hospital area to the east. It involved stadiums for football and bandy and other public facilities, but also a development of the park space next to Uppsala Stadsträdgård. In addition, new infrastructure connecting the area to the inner city with bridges over the river. Now, a few years later, FOJAB arkitekter has won the continued assignment in fierce competition.

- 'Yes, there were a lot of people who wanted to design stadiums, so this is really fun - we didn't have an obvious ticket in,' says Per-Aage Nilsson, a specialist in this type of architecture. Arenas are complicated buildings, largely because of the flows and logistics. But they are also interesting meeting places where you manage large volumes of space, sight lines, security and sound. In terms of sports, it is also exciting, especially here in Uppsala where the football stadium is also the home team's training ground. Bandy, which is mostly associated with Studenternas, will have a new indoor arena, close to the football stadium.

In addition to the football and bandy hall, the assignment now includes the design of the surrounding park landscape, arena square, restaurant, offices, parking and other premises for sports and recreation. The football stadium will be built in stages, with the first part accommodating around 10,000 spectators, with the possibility of future expansion. The bandy arena is planned for an audience of 4,500 people. Sportfastigheter, a municipality-owned company, is the client, and the project is scheduled for completion in 2017.