Wilmotte & Associates recently won the competition to design the 2018 FIFA World Cup Stadium in Kaliningra, Russia. Their design features an urban facade that wraps the stadium, consisting of a series of orthogonal screens that respond to the surrounding urban context. The project will be constructed from a primary steel structure, but, the upper tier of the stadium will be temporary. The stadium has been designed so that after the tournament completes in 2018, the stands can be dismantled and the upper canopy can be removed.
Kaliningrad, formerly Konigsberg (City of East Prussia until 1945) is a Russian city of 432,000 inhabitants. It is a Russian exclave that borders the Baltic Sea and is isolated from Russian territory by the states of Poland and Lithuania.
This particular situation dictated a complex program: in order to host the FIFA World Cup matches there is a requirement for the stadium to hold 45,000 people, but the capacity of the stadium has to be reduced to approximately 25,000 seats when the football competition ends in order for the stadium to continue to be useful to the relatively small population of the region.
The stadium design incorporates a flat sliding operable roof that will allow the stadium to accommodate a diverse range of events such as concerts, large conferences and various other sporting events. In the 220-hectare area surrounding the new stadium the hosting facilities for the World Cup event will be built. These facilities will include village hospitality and a media center. After the international competition ends, the accommodation will be subdivided and absorbed by the surrounding town adding to the existing urban fabric. The stadium and its facilities will become the centerpiece for the new urban master plan of October Island. The island sits at the centre of the two arms of the River Pregolya.