Populous: Why ‘The Cathedral’ is the better new stadium for Milan and Inter

By Oliver Fisher -

Declan Sharkey and Alessandro Zoppini – architects of Populous – have offered more insight into their design for the ‘new San Siro’.

Milan and Inter held an official presentation at the Bovisa Polytechnic in Milano last month during which the plans for the competing projects were revealed.

Italian firm Manica showed their ‘Wedding Rings’ design, followed by American giants Populous and their ‘Cathedral’.

Things have hit somewhat of a roadblock regarding the development recently though, as the first council vote last week produced an overwhelming ‘no’ vote, and Milan president Paolo Scaroni reportedly ‘angered’ local residents during a meeting.

Nonetheless there is still optimism surrounding the plans, and two key figures from Populous have explained more about their ‘La Cattedrale’ design.

“We were inspired by Milan and its monuments, in fact it could only work in this city and not in other cities of the world, such as in Manchester or Moscow,” Sharkey told La Gazzetta dello Sport, via MilanNews.it.

“We were inspired by the Duomo and the Galleria and other buildings that brought us to create a great architectural project for the citizens of Milan and also for the supporters of these two legendary clubs.

“It was a challenge to design a single system, in which two teams will have to play, but a challenge facilitated by the fact that both Inter and Milan turned out to be two excellent customers with clear ideas.

“Based on who will be playing at home, the identity of Inter and Milan’s DNA will now be highlighted.”

Zoppini continued: “The strengths are those that Declan said earlier. It is a stadium made for the Milanese people and for Milan, but it is also a stadium that has incredible functionality.

“It will have the most compact basin in the world, so it will have a fantastic atmosphere for the fans. It will also be extremely respectful of the local community: it is a stadium just 30 meters high, it is a very delicate and light stadium, which fits well into the urban context.

“There are 20 hectares of green in our project and, above all, there are all the trees that make the stadium for the passerby on the road practically invisible.

“So, when you go around the San Siro stadium from the street where you they are the houses, you will see the trees and not the plant.

“Nowadays talking about stadiums means talking about obsolete objects. They are centres of interest that must live even when there are no sports fixtures.

“We have thought of an object that will become a meeting and attraction point for the city of Milan and for the whole neighbourhood, so with commercial recreational spaces that will animate the stadium throughout the week.”

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