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Santiago Bernabeu Stadium; Santiago Bernabeu Stadium;

Santiago Bernabéu stadium, Madrid

Redesigning Madrid’s legendary Santiago Bernabéu football stadium

As home to the Real Madrid football club, the world-famous Santiago Bernabéu stadium is undergoing an extensive renovation with a modern, energy efficient design that will enhance fan experience, accessibility and comfort.

Since it first opened its doors in 1945, the Real Madrid stadium has hosted a number of major football tournaments, and now welcomes more daily visitors than the Prado Museum as one of the city’s main tourist attractions.

Arup was appointed by Spanish building and infrastructure firm FCC to deliver architecture, façade engineering, acoustic and lighting design services to enhance the fan experience and future proof the facility to welcome an ever-growing audience.

Project Summary

~ 80,000 seats

125,000surface area

60,000building envelope

Designing Santiago Bernabéu’s new building envelope​

Arup’s building envelope specialists developed a detailed design for the stadium’s 60,000 m2 façade. The team used BIM to develop a digital model of the building envelope, ensuring a perfect match between the complex shape of the various structural elements in a cost effective and time efficient manner. Our digital model helped the client produce the elements with the correct shape to create the outer skin of the stadium.

South Façade South Façade

The new iconic metallic façade stands as a double-curved enclosure formed by approximately 7500 V-shaped stainless steel slats, each with a unique geometry. This continuous enclosure wraps up the stadium while maintaining the natural outdoor ventilation.

The façade of the famed stadium is designed to project images through a LED lighting system. To minimise reflection and prevent glare affecting nearby buildings, our lighting specialists carried out a sunlight reflection study and adapted the tilt of the slats to change the angle of reflection.

The outer skin also features a retractable roof which will enhance spectators’ thermal comfort during cold, wet weather. To help the client manage the wind comfort for fans in the stadium, Arup’s specialists developed CFD modelling and wind simulations to analyse the wind loads on the façade and other parts of the stadium like the museum.

Santiago Bernabeu interior Santiago Bernabeu interior

Interior design: the spectator’s point of view

Enhancing user experience was a key driver for the Santiago Bernabéu stadium redesign. Our specialists analysed the stadium’s interior to ensure that each seat within the stands provide optimal comfort.

The interior refurbishment of the Real Madrid's stadium included the design of the interior finishes throughout, including seat optimisation, air conditioning service and the access to the stands.

We used 3D models to define the position of the new seats, ensuring they offer unobstructed views of the pitch, and measure wind, temperature and the sun path over the stadium as three key elements to providing better indoor comfort for visitors. Seat arrangement and the location of stairs were redesigned to improve accessibility, safety and optimise user experience.

Arup combined its breadth of expertise on stadium design and the use of digital tools to help redesign the unique Santiago Bernabéu stadium and improve spectators’ comfort in Madrid on schedule and to the highest quality. ” Matias Garcia Matías García Project Manager

The revamped Santiago Bernabéu stadium not only aims to offer a memorable experience to fans and spectators but also to act as a meeting point and leisure space for local and international visitors. The stadium renovation, now officially open to the public, is expected to be completed at the end of 2023.