The attention that inevitably accompanies World Cup Football in Qatar offers an opportunity to take another look at a number of recent stadium projects. Construction of Bolívar Stadium is about to begin in the Bolivian capital of La Paz, according to an announcement by L35 Architects, winners of the design competition held in 2021, who also planned the renovation of Madrid’s emblematic Santiago Bernabéu stadium.
Bolívar Stadium will be located in the historic Tembladerani district of La Paz, on one of the slopes rising toward the neighbouring city of El Alto, in a densely built-up urban context. The new facility will stand on the remains of the previous sporting facility, becoming the new home of the Bolívar Club. The new stadium will not just be a place of sports but, following in a long and well-established tradition for facilities of this kind, will be capable of hosting other activities, such as concerts and shows, and offering restaurants, shops and event spaces. In short, it will be a centre for culture and sports in the city of La Paz, as well as an architectural landmark. L35 has designed a construction of monumental appearance, a temple of sport made of a single material which turns out to be permeable, open and connected with the urban fabric and the environment around it.
This condition is made possible by an ingenious solution adopted by the architects, transforming the difficulties posed by the natural slope of the site into opportunities for design. The architects raised the field and the stands, building them 3 metres higher than the level of the previous playing field, and allowed the irregular geometry of the lot to determine the volumetry of the building, thus defining its unique identity. The stadium is given monumental status by its bare concrete structure in which massive pillars are arranged in a rhythm alternating solids and voids.
The building’s intentionally stark image contributes to its monumental character, giving it the timeless aura the architects wanted to create out of respect for the Genius loci of La Paz.
Images courtesy of L35 Architects
Project Name: Bolívar Stadium
Designers: L35 ARCHITECTS, www.l35.com
Project director and construction director: L35 ARCHITECTS
Architectural design team: Alejandro Barca, Guillermo Gusó, Diego Blasco, Sebastián Negro, Stefano Melgrati, Nicolás Pinzón, Carlos Ruiz, Ángel Pi, Boris Orellana.
Consultants: INES INGENIEROS CONSULTORES, www.ines.es (structure); GRUPO ARGENIA, www.grupoargenia.com (structure and building installations); ARKILUM, www.arkilum.es (lighting); ARQUITORIUM, www.arquitorium.com (acoustics); CIVIL TURF, www.civilturf.com (natural grass), Fileni Fileni, www.filenifileni.com (signage)
Images: L35 courteys of Pati Nunez Agency
Client: CLUB BOLÍVAR, www.clubbolivar.com
Location: La Paz, Bolivia