The transformation of the area of the old Soccer Stadium in the city of Pomezia is a perfect example of how the development of sport facilities can fuel urban transformation. The old stadium stood on the outskirts of the city’s historical center, which emerged as a rural town in the 1930s and evolved into an industrial hub in the Southern Metropolitan Area of Rome after WWII.
RIMOND used this location, which is only a 5-minute walk from the beautiful town’s main square, to expand the Stadium refurbishment into an urban intervention that involved the construction of a completely new set of public spaces and facilities – turning an area perceived as closed and degraded into a modern extension of the city center, closely connected to nearby public services such as schools, hospitals, and inner sport activities, all integrated with retail spaces.
The project is envisioned both as a ZEB district and as a hub for e-mobility and public transportation – contributing to the creation of a neighborhood energy community. A large pedestrian space, packed with services and open to public use, well connected to Pomezia’s sustainable development, where RIMOND was able to bring public and private stakeholders together in a shared operation, thanks to its ability to integrate technical, economic, and social issues to pursue built architectural and urban quality.
Football stadiums, except for major Serie A teams, are often large expenses in terms of construction and maintenance, offering very few opportunities for profit and making it difficult to turn them into financially viable solutions. RIMOND team had to come up with innovative ways to generate additional revenue. To do so, we had to strike the right balance between the total available surface, the total cost, and the projected revenues, which required numerous back-and-forth between design considerations and socio-economic goals.
Another challenge was the public-private partnership. RIMOND played a mediation role between the client’s needs and the offer of several services and new public spaces for the municipality.
The stadium’s location constituted another challenge to take into account. Because the stadium is located in a dense urban area with schools and hospitals, we had to consider all the possible consequences when making it a pole of attraction: traffic, noise, pollution, and the various modes of transportation that people would use, among other things. The integration of mobility issues had to be carefully considered. When combining its location with the Italian regulations on parking space, we had to find creative ways to ensure having enough parking space while still allowing pedestrians and bikes access. We also needed to fit the stadium into the local urban landscape, which is mostly made up of small structures (2 to 3 floors maximum)
The RIMOND team conducted a socio-economic analysis to determine the best functional mix between shopping mall, local retail stores, sport center and small medical center in order to generate revenue, fund this project, and transform this area into a new attractive and sustainable hub for the city.
Our design decisions were driven by economic sustainability and architectural/urban quality criteria; moreover, we developed a strategic management of accessibility and context relations.
We also assisted the municipal office of urban planning in selecting the most suitable administrative procedure, in accordance with the most updated National Codes on Stadium Refurbishment in urban areas.
The majority of the additional sport installations were vertically integrated to fit them all into the available space and free pedestrian access to the area: the roof hosts padel fields, an intermediate floor welcomes the gym and an outdoor elevated running ring, and the basement floor is used for the pool and for the basket/volley/multisports/events hall with direct views from the street and public spaces.
Finally, we implemented a sustainable design strategy (energy efficiency, LCA, water reuse, waste management, social awareness). This was critical because we needed to provide an environmental impact report that covered the construction materials as well as the project’s overall impact on the environment, including noise, pollution, waste disposal, and traffic. A large photovoltaic field was installed on the stadium roof, as well as an innovative superficial geothermal field beneath the stadium playfield.