Strasbourg Stade de la Meinau Renovation
The Stade de la Meinau renovation project is a £160m transformation of the historic football stadium in Strasbourg, France, that aims to preserve its unique atmosphere while enhancing its capacity, functionality, and sustainability. The project is led by the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg and its partners, who have appointed Populous as the lead architect.
CHALLENGE. With construction now underway, the design challenge has been to significantly enhance the spectator experience by creating new fan spaces and revenue streams for Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace, the stadium’s home team. The first phase of the project focuses on the expansion and renovation of the South Stand. Work will then progress to the redevelopment of the North, East and West Stands, and the creation of a fan zone – a French stadium first – which will be open to the community during the week.
INNOVATION. In the case of the South Stand, the project will involve a significant expansion comprising new fan spaces and operational facilities around a glass-fronted five-storey atrium with new bars, hospitality lounges and two “party decks” – open spaces overlooking the pitch for fans to meet up.
It is also here that Populous has specified upcycled architecture to deliver the innovative concept at the heart of its environmentally sustainable design for the revamped stadium. In a world first, the Stade de la Meinau is to become the first stadium to be constructed using parts of old passenger airliners. The scheme will see fuselages from 20 decommissioned Airbus 340 aircraft reused in the main façade sunshades of the South Stand.
Populous’ design involves cutting the fuselage of the aeroplanes to provide a solar shading system or brise soleil, at the same time as enabling views from within the stadium of the surrounding park and river.
The idea of reusing fuselage sections to create façade sunshade was conceived by Populous during the Covid-19 pandemic when planes were almost entirely grounded and the unprecedented downturn in travel forced all airlines to resize their fleet and flight operations. This accelerated the retirement of older, less fuel-efficient, and higher maintenance aircraft creating a high surplus of decommissioned stock. Populous’ design concept sought to make use of this surplus stock, derived from an aviation industry that is more regularly associated with having a negative impact on climate change.
IMPACT. Completing in July 2025, the renovation of Stade de la Meinau will modernise the existing building and bring it firmly into the 21st century and increasing capacity at the ground from 26,000 to 32,000. The project elevates sustainable stadium design in both the sports architecture and sport industries, sparking conversations about how upcycling and material reuse can enhance the sustainability of such projects.
- DNA Paris Design Awards — Sustainability