Taylor Swift concerts mark completion of historic arena remodel

3 June 2024
Credit: gmp/L35 Arquitectos/Ribas & Ribas
  • gmp/L35 Arquitectos/Ribas & Ribas
  • gmp/L35 Arquitectos/Ribas & Ribas
  • gmp/L35 Arquitectos/Ribas & Ribas
  • gmp/L35 Arquitectos/Ribas & Ribas
  • Imagen Subliminal Baustelle
  • Imagen Subliminal Baustelle

gmp/L35 Arquitectos/Ribas & Ribas




Santiago Bernabéu stadium transformed into multifunctional venue

Global superstar Taylor Swift has performed two concerts at the remodelled Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, following the transformation of the legendary football stadium into a multifunctional arena. Since opening in 1947, the stadium has undergone various additions, with Tenderstream member von Gerkan, Marg and Partners (gmp) - together with L35 Arquitectos and Ribas & Ribas Arquitectos - selected in 2014 to establish a coherent overall concept for the venue.

Home to Spanish football team Real Madrid, the old Bernabéu’s disparate mix of architecture has been transformed into an innovative and versatile arena, with a retractable lawn that gives way to a fixed ground slab to enable a wide range of events beyond sports. A retractable roof allows for flexible adaptation to any weather condition, while the existing building was largely retained and enclosed within a new wraparound facade made from stainless steel louvers. This continuous facade unites a variety of functions, including the Real Madrid Museum and space for restaurants and retail. When no events are taking place at the venue, a “skywalk” offers visitors a chance to explore the stadium, making the Bernabéu a public attraction in Madrid beyond its primary use.

The transformation was carried out without interrupting the soccer schedule, as Real Madrid’s home games during the coronavirus pandemic had to be played in their training center without spectators. Upon completion of the roof structure in May 2023, the club’s home games returned to the stadium while construction continued.

Volkwin Marg, co-founder of gmp, stated: “Our design gives form to the ideas of 'movement' and 'dynamism'. The stadium’s massing may appear at first glance to be autonomously determined – but in reality it dances within tightly defined parameters. It wraps the stadium’s form, which has evolved over time through numerous alterations and additions, in a vibrant way, allowing for new concepts of use and responding to contemporary urban conditions and structural requirements.”

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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