Beyond a purely aesthetic and functional approach or the desire to fit into the Eco-Valley, the architecture of the Allianz Riviera, designed by the Wilmotte & Associés architecture firm, has a third ambition, namely compliance with the fundamental principles of sustainable development. A positive energy building, the arena has an ingenious structure,
made of metal and wood, which is certainly unique through its sheer size. This is hinted at through the membrane that covers it, a "quite extraordinary three-dimensional geometry equation." "We wanted to make the arena as vibrant inside as it is outside," says architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. Playing on transparency, light and shadow, etc., its silhouette is as pure as it is airy.
The Allianz Riviera pitch was born and thrived in a nursery in Le Barp near Bordeaux. Twenty-five refrigerated trailers safely delivered this green gold to its final destination in August 2013. Nice Eco Stadium was not the only company interested in the pitch, since OGC Nice was also a stakeholder in the decision process. 530 rolls of turf, 1.20 x 15 metres in size, were used to cover 9,300m². At the Allianz Riviera, the car parks are located under the stands. It was out of the question to lay the turf on anything other than solid ground, but not just any old solid ground. The ground in question is a mixture of volcanic rock, coal slag and nutrients.
Pipes are positioned under the pitch to circulate air, remove water in the event of rain and ventilate the pitch during periods of intense heat. The pitch is cared for all year round through maintenance operations such as fill planting, sand blasting and coring, but also through light therapy to promote photosynthesis, fertilisation and mowing, of course, not to mention regular watering. After matches, specific rehabilitation operations are carried out to guarantee optimum pitch quality for each sporting event.
WILMOTTE & Associés S.A. is Jean-Michel Wilmotte’s architectural firm. With 194 employees from 40 different countries, the firm has taken on an international and multicultural dimension, and works in twenty countries around the world. It operates in five key areas (architecture, interior design, museography, urban planning and design), with an attention to detail that enables it to work on both the smallest and largest scales.