Stadia & the City

Christopher Paxton (website)
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KADK)
Masters Thesis Project
Faculty: Niels Grønbæk


Through its dramatic proximity to homes, shops, bars, museums, mosques, garages and all manner of city activity, the Recep Tayyip Erdogan Football Stadium in Istanbul opens up a new set of relations between the urban environment and the contemporary culture of viewing sporting events.

Operating within this found context, this project explores the urban potential of contemporary arenas by speculating and proposing a future transformation of the stadium and its surrounding neighbourhoods. The study examines a reciprocal relationship between the stadium and its urban context; both are informed and challenged by the other’s presence.

The work includes several speculations as to specific futures of the stadium based on various discrete motives; local connectivity, Istanbul’s highly politicised fan culture, the timely hybridisation of spaces and the logic of both spectator and TV viewpoint. In combination, these studies inform a single proposal for a 50-year transformation of the stadium and its diffuse surrounding urban area.

A series of architectural interventions are proposed, each occurring at specific moments in time and instigated by differing, and at times opposing stakeholders: The club grandstand and TV gantry, a city block tribune, a privately-owned rooftop seating gallery and a network of elevated walkways.

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