Slovenia, Ljubljana 

Jože Plečnik Stadium


Competition 2009 – 1st prize
Design Volkwin Marg and Hubert Nienhoff with Markus Pfisterer
Staff (design) in alphabetical order
Justin Thomas Allen, Sonia Cristina de Carvalho Taborda Barata, Katarzyna Ciruk, Rocio Conesa Sanchez, Ruth Gould, Martin Hakiel, Claudio Aceituno Husch, Jochen Köhn, Monika Kwiatkowski, Lars Laubenthal, Marisa Maithert, Mehdi Marzooghi, Dirk Peissl, Ivanka Perkovic, Fariborz Rahimi-Nadjat, Nikolai Reich, Florian Schwarthoff, Katya Vangelova  
Structural concept and design roof
Schlaich Bergermann und Partner – Knut Göppert with Sebastian Grotz
Technical equipment Winter Beratende Ingenieure für Gebäudetechnik
Client BSP Bezigrajski Sportni Park
Seats 12.899
VIP boxes 60
Business seats 1049
Places for wheelchair users 20
Places for press 54
Length of the stadium 188 m
Width of the stadium 134 m
Height of the stadium 18 m



Heiner Leiska

The construction of the new Jože Plečnik Stadium constitutes a revitalization of an existing stadium. The principal structure was the Glorieta, a temple-like pavilion at one end of the field. The horseshoe-shaped earthwork terraces were oriented towards this structure, which was designed for a crowd capacity of 12,000. At the other end of the field, an arcade along the main road constitutes the main entrance area into the stadium, which is entirely surrounded by a clinker brick wall approx. 2.4 m high. Within the Glorieta and two other buildings integrated into the earthwork slopes were various sanitary facilities for participants and spectators.

The stadium was closed in 2008 and an international competition was held for its revitalization. Along with the local football team as a user, a host of other commercial functions are accommodated on the site that are intended to make the site viable commercially.

The structures have to be renovated in their original form. These parts of the building are the only structures by Joze Plecnik – a major architectural figure in Slovenia – in urgent need of renovation and currently in a state of dilapidation. The design of the new Jože Plečnik Stadium integrates the historic elements of the existing components, and creates a formal and functional unity without impairing the original design principles.

The new structural components above ground are clearly separated from the existing clinker brick wall, the arcade and the Glorieta, and are functionally linked on several levels only below ground. In this way, the small-scale elements of the urban structure and the dimensions of the historic parts are retained. Likewise, the geometry of the horseshoe-shaped lower tier is only minimally changed by the elimination of the athletics track, so as to bring spectators closer to the pitch and to raise the sighting angle to 90 mm overview. A two-storey ring of boxes and business lounges also follows the horseshoe shape, and breaks off either side of the Glorieta. It provides space for boxes, a restaurant and sports club. These areas are directly linked with the six subterranean floors by vertical shafts, accessing not only the car park (with approximately 1,800 places) but also other functions such as shopping, an indoor climbing hall, sports hall and events areas.

The top floors of the new highrise building adjacent to the south side contain a hotel with apartment areas. In the base of the building are the accesses to the shopping area and the entrance to the underground garage. The existing avenue of trees along the historic wall remains where it was.

The north side is being landscaped, with "office villas" as individual cubes forming a transition between the adjacent residential development and the stadium. Thanks to the gaps between them, both the listed wall and the stadium are visible from the street side. These office villas are directly linked with the subterranean areas of the car park.

The load-bearing structure of the stadium roof and box levels emphasizes the linear look of the roof architecture, parallel to the tiers beneath it. The roof likewise breaks off at the west end of the stadium so as to allow sufficient clear space round the Glorieta. At this location, some the terraces will be preserved in their historic form. The weight of the slender projecting truss girders of the roof made of welded steel box profiles and also the steel composite girders of the box levels is carried via two composite columns into the reinforced concrete of the lower stories. The roof area is to be covered with glass panels in which PV elements will be integrated as sunscreens and solar energy generators. The secondary structure of box sections suspended beneath the truss girders to carry this glass covering underlines the clear, linearly oriented image of the roof structure. The steel composite structure of the box levels enables the benefits of steel sections in the diagonal tension elements to be combined with those of the reinforced concrete floors.

The roof surface will be covered with glass panels, with PV elements integrated into them for antiglare and solar energy purposes. Rainwater for general non-potable use will be stored in cylindrical collection tanks in the vehicle ramps in the underground garage or fed into the water circulation, to compensate for the high level of soil sealing. Thanks to these economical and ecological design measures, which were integrated into the scheme at an early planning stage, the end result will be a stadium that complies with the requirements of a sustainable urban development.