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ATHLETIC CLUB
TUESDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2018
SAN MAMÉS

San Mamés is a reference of the highest level in the world of football. It is one of the fields considered mythical at an international level, and known by its nickname: "La Catedral".

Its inauguration took place in 1913 in the same place where the current stadium stands. One hundred years later the old stadium has made way to the new San Mamés with capacity for 53,000 spectators and designed according to the most demanding standards, those derivative from the Elite Category according to UEFA.

Firstly, it is important to point out that the location of the stadium as an end to the urban plan of Ensanche and showing itself in a privileged way to the Ria, Olabeaga and Zorrozaurre, turns the building into an architectonic element that must articulate itself strongly and emphatically, but with respect towards the rest of the buildings that complete that area of the city. From this reflection arises one of the first aspects considered in its design, as is the conception of the volume constructed as an urban building, in relation to the rest and not merely as a sports facility. The modern language, the advanced image and its strong presence and singularity, are therefore, fundamental aspects in its conception.

Secondly, the intention was to add value to those places of the stadium that traditionally do not have them, these are the places between the perimeter of the stadium and the back of the stands that represent the circulation spaces to the stands. In order to give an added value to these spaces, the project strategy consists not only in providing quality spaces, but also that those places have an intense relation with the city and its surroundings.

To achieve this, without a doubt, there appears one of the fundamental elements that distinguish the new San Mamés; the treatment of the façade, which is semitransparent and permeable following security criteria in the evacuation of the building. The permeable skin, whose objective is fundamentally to clearly define the limits of its surroundings and present a visually recognizable image of the architectonic element, projects with vertical elements such as slats/panels in a dimension that allow suitable transparency and at the same time guarantee the consideration of exterior space for the evacuation of the building.

As far as the design of the interior space of the new stadium, it is conceived in continuity with the codes that made the old San Mamés singular.

In first instance the new stadium maintains the dimensions of the original field, 105 x 68 meters, and also keeps at a minimum the distance between the playing field and the first row of stands demanded by international standards.

The new stadium playing field has been buried about 7.8 meters below ground level so as to reduce the overall height of the construction and thus allow direct access without barriers to the lower stands. In addition, throughout the perimeter of the stadium a pedestrian walkway has been obtained which will facilitate access and exit of spectators and will become an ample urban space on the days there are no matches.

The stands have been designed the most optimal way possible thus allowing the closest approach of fans to the playing field.

The design of both main grandstands, as well as that of the roof, has the main objective of maximizing the "Pressure Effect" and the link between the stands and the playing field so characteristic of San Mamés. For this, the stands are projected with the maximum slope within the comfort parameters and the main elements of the roof are radial from the centre of the pitch. Between both main grandstands there is a smaller section that allows for the accommodation of the theatre and VIP boxes.

In addition, the complex contains other uses such as the Museum, a commercial area, restaurant, cafeteria, event halls and conference halls.

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