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2019 La nucía

Olympic stadium and football field

Crystalzoo Sports architecture


In 2003, Olafur Eliasson opened “The Weather Project” at the Tate Modern in London, where he explored the concepts of representation and the experience that he later developed in his book “Models are Real”. In it, he concluded that the models were the basis of experimentation of his following projects, in other words, his own experience penetrated all his work. In the same way, Crystalzoo projects influence each other, each real model contributes to another model, helping to generate a new constructed reality.

This process played a particularly significant role in the Olympic Stadium and in the Nucía Lab. There two contemporary projects were based on some common assumptions and their site managements were undertaken in parallel. But the projects’ issues were resolved via two totally different material realisations and scales. The first project was transparent, flexible and immaterial. It was part of an unfinished object where the sun is the major player. The second is a reinforced concrete mass, a finished object laying on its promontory, protected from the sun and oriented towards the best vistas. Their underlying common ideas were as described next.

The platform concept, so deeply rooted in the work of the architect Jørn Utzon, as a mechanism that relates the project to the landscape by generating a new horizon that brings together the new and the distant.

The contrast between the smooth space and the striated surface proposed by Deleuze and Guattari in 1998, working on the platform’s flows and the object itself following these guidelines.

The piece worked on as a toy, hinting at children’s traditional “paper fortune-tellers“, in which the colour on the inside is the true protagonist.

The stadium is built as a new platform, a new horizon that is linked to the nearby Ponoch and El Captivador mountains in the province of Alicante, whose pine forests frame the work’s distant views. Inside is the most complex part of the project: 4 changing rooms, a first-aid room, a press room, offices, warehouses, and facilities… with sober materials, where the flows operate mechanically, as in Deleuze’s “striated space”.

This base is in contrast with the “smooth space” on the surface of our new promontory, an open, more dynamic space for the public, where getting to a place becomes a pleasant walk, a game of open landscape vistas and horizons. A walk for the public offered by the city.

And on this platform is erected our origami, designed on a more human scale than large stadiums. As in the children’s paper toy, it opens out in red colour to attract the public, to the red tide of people from La Nucía who come on Sundays to support their newly promoted team.

The translucent polycarbonate folds play with the sunlight, which, as in Olafur Eliasson’s project, invades it all, modifying the appearance of the building throughout the day by playing with the reflections through the Stadium’s different folds. At nightfall, the interior structure becomes visible as the light emerges from the folds themselves, changing colour depending on its mood.


Sports spaces




La Nucía City Council.

Year of Construction