The Cathedral: A New Icon for Milano

Milan, Lombardy, Italy

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    Architecture, Brand Activation, Wayfinding, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, Event

Populous has been chosen by AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano as the architect for their new stadium. The scheme, named The Cathedral, will create the greatest stadium in Europe with a bespoke seating bowl that will bring fans closer to the action than ever before and create an unforgettable atmosphere. The centrepiece of a new mixed-use masterplan development, The Cathedral will become a global icon – providing a unique home for the clubs.

This design is not for a generic stadium that could be found in Moscow or Manchester; it is a design that draws inspiration from two of Milano’s most iconic buildings, the Duomo and the Galleria. Set in the most sustainable sports and entertainment district in Europe, the stadium will create a new icon for Milano.

A stadium for everyone

The Cathedral will elevate standards in fan experience, stadium atmosphere and community engagement – delivering a new icon for Milano that is true to its people and honours its heritage.

The stadium will provide a world-class home for AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano and is designed to incorporate their identities into the very fabric of the building. It forms a centrepiece for a new San Siro District, a sustainable 365-days-a-year destination that will take the clubs, the fans and the community into an exciting and prosperous future.

The Cathedral’s bespoke seating bowl will be the most intimate in Europe, bringing fans closer to the action than ever before and creating an unforgettable atmosphere.

A sunlit galleria encircles the stadium enveloped by an elegant glass façade, providing a democratic space for all supporters and the citizens of Milano. Here, a wide-ranging offer of food and beverage outlets inspired by the world-renowned food culture of Milano, lounge spaces and bars cater for all visitors while celebrating the unique culture of Milano.

The Cathedral has been designed to create a unique home for the fans and supporters of AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano, with bespoke installations that dramatically change the appearance of the architecture and incorporate the clubs’ unique identities into the building fabric. For Inter Milan, a coiled viper of blue light wraps itself around the stadium; while for AC Milan, the vertical buttresses glow a smouldering red emanating from the depths of the building.

"The Cathedral is a stadium of Milano and for Milano; an iconic and enduring piece of architecture that draws on the history and aspirations of this great city. It will be the greatest football stadium in Europe, with the tightest and most atmospheric seating bowl and best-in-class sustainability credentials. It will be a stadium for all Milanese to enjoy for generations to come."

Christopher Lee, Managing Director EMEA, Populous

A green destination

The stadium is designed to be the most sustainable stadium in Europe. The galleria is naturally cooled and passively heated, photovoltaic panels line the stadium roof to generate electricity that is stored in battery banks for later use, and all rainwater is collected from the roof and reused. The stadium is surrounded by 22 acres of green space, which reduce water runoff and counteract the ‘heat island’ effect. The entire district is connected to a central heating and cooling system.

Team Populous

Populous is the world expert in designing and delivering football stadia. Over the last 36 years, we’ve built over 3,000 of the world’s most recognisable sports and entertainment venues including over 1,325 stadiums. Based out of London and Milano, with over 300 Italian staff, Team Populous has designed a stadium that is true to the people of Milano and honours the city’s heritage.


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Project Team
Connect with the designers

Christopher Lee

Declan Sharkey