Select language:
Santiago Bernabeu Stadium; Santiago Bernabeu Stadium;

Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid

Rehabilitation of the Santiago Bernabeu

The Santiago Bernabéu is the meeting place for the Real Madrid Football Club family and one of the most emblematic stadiums in Spanish sport. With 75 years of history, located on the Paseo de la Castellana, the Bernabéu is one of Madrid's major tourist attractions, receiving even more daily visitors than the Prado Museum. 

Renovation work on the stadium began in mid-2019. Designed in 1945 for an initial capacity of 75,145 spectators, the new version will have a capacity of 80,000 thanks to the construction of the new East Stand. The desire to achieve a benchmark stadium in the world of football has resulted in an innovative and sustainable design, guaranteeing exceptional comfort for organising and hosting all types of events, not just football. 

For this project, Arup has provided multidisciplinary services in architecture, facade engineering and energy performance analysis, as well as acoustic and lighting design.

Project Summary

80,000 floors

125,000built-up area

60,000of envelope

South Façade South Façade

An iconic envelope

Arup's involvement in the project included the detailed design of the 60,000m² stainless steel envelope, with a retractable roof for increased durability and rapid opening and closing, as well as the development of a full BIM model of the envelope.

Arup's facade specialists developed a building system capable of maintaining the geometric complexity of the original design with the required accuracy, accommodating very large assembly and movement tolerances derived from the main structure without altering the continuity of the envelope. The challenge was to define the construction system that reproduces the double curvature of each slat, a unique system for all the stadium slats that is difficult to see from the outside.

In terms of lighting integration design, the stadium envelope includes optimisation of the geometry and material used in the facade to minimise glare from sunlight reflection on traffic and housing around the stadium. 

Wind tunnel testing and CFD modelling verified the envelope design through analysis and simulation of wind loads on the facade louvres and in specific areas of the stadium. In addition, light radiation and sound insulation studies were carried out using advanced simulation models. 

Arup also designed the envelopes of the Skywalk elements (exterior perimeter corridor), as well as the restaurant, the VIP areas and the Skybar. These emblematic spaces complete the architectural composition of the stadium's inside.

Santiago Bernabeu interior Santiago Bernabeu interior

Interior architecture: what the spectator sees

To maximise the stadium's potential, all elements and installations in the space under the roof have been coordinated, in addition to analysing the interior comfort of the stands and grandstands. 

The refurbishment included the design of the interior finishes throughout the stadium, such as the enclosure of the sides of the stands, the optimisation of seating, the air conditioning and the access to the stands. The exhaustive analysis of these elements has made it possible to rationalise the number of stairs, while combining safety and comfort. 

Thanks to Arup's multidisciplinary expertise and the use of the most innovative tools, we have been able to guarantee the highest quality requirements, essential to build the most unique stadium of this century ” Matias Garcia Matías García Project Manager

Innovation for a unique experience

Arup's specialists have worked on different models of lighting, sound and reverberation of the spaces, including the study of possible configurations of the stadium and the forecast of stage equipment for non-sporting events. And in its commitment to versatility, a preliminary ventilation study of the mechanised grass collection system has also been carried out. 

Thus, the new Bernabéu not only aims to be a great stadium, but also a meeting and leisure place that provides value at a local and global level. A commitment to improve and highlight the stadium's spaces in order to offer a unique experience to the spectator.