Russia, Nischni Nowgorod 

Nizhny Novgorod, 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia


Direct commission 2013
Volkwin Marg and Hubert Nienhoff
In cooperation with / Russian adaptation
ARENA Project Institute, Moscow
Project manager
Philipp Weber
Design team
Nikolai Reich, Veit Lieneweg, Michael Scholz, Chris Hättasch
Structural design for roof and facade
schlaich bergermann partner sbp gmbh
Number of tiers
Number of seats
148,000 m²
Roof area
57,000 m²
Cable network facade
29,000 m²
Length of stadium
280 meters
Width of stadium
280 meters
Height of stadium
46 meters



gmp Architekten

The Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, designed for the 2018 World Cup, lies at the confluence of the Oka and Volga rivers. Located within view of the city center of the Russian metropolis, the circular stadium with seating for 45,000 spectators is embedded in a park landscape that opens out to the bank of the River Volga.

The stadium has been designed in accordance with the conditions applicable to World Cup venues in Russia, which stipulate a capacity of 45,000 spectators and a circular basic shape. On this basis, gmp developed the geometry of the grandstand bowl with rows of seating arranged in parallel to the edge of the pitch, thereby providing all spectators with favorable viewing conditions. In addition, the straightforward geometry lends itself to the use of prefabricated concrete elements in construction and to the efficient organization of the functional areas.

Similar to the design for Volgograd, the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium features a concentric sequence consisting of the rectangular pitch, the oval grandstand bowl, and the circular overall shape of the structure. The facade, roof, and bowl have been designed as three independent structural systems. The grandstand areas are roofed over with a lightweight tensile structure with a ring cable.

In its original design version, the facade creates analogies with the theme of water that is such a dominant feature of the city and the stadium in its prominent position; behind the colonnade that surrounds the building, a tensile cable structure forms a rotational paraboloid that is clad with translucent polycarbonate panels, causing it to radiate as a shiny, blueish pixel image.

The design developed by gmp in 2014 was used by the Russian partners as a blueprint for the detailed design and independent implementation.