Nou Congost Arena
An arena active 365 days a year.
The renovation of the Nou Congost Arena involved expanding its capacity by 1,500 seats, improving interior areas, and creating new spaces and services. Additionally, the venue needed to be adapted to meet the relevant regulations to host large-scale events and sports competitions across various disciplines. This included considerations for implementing improvements in energy efficiency, accessibility, and functional organization, ensuring a modern and versatile space.
Manresa aspired to a comprehensive architectural transformation of the Nou Congost Arena, not only to redefine its appearance but to reinvent its connection with the urban environment and transform it into a lively space 365 days a year.
The renovation prioritizes pedestrians by expanding the arena outward on the ground and first floors while preserving the existing roof. Public courtyards and terraces emerge, linking the venue with public space, the river, and the city, while a permeable skin allows natural light and views, integrating the structure with the urban surroundings.
The new spatial organization aims to turn the arena into a year-round hub of activity, capable of offering diverse entertainment. The segmentation of the venue is crucial to reduce costs and ensure a varied and logical offering for the city.
Currently, the bowl of the Nou Congost Arena is surrounded by a solid brick volume, creating a firm and compact image. (1) With the addition of volumes in the expansion, the new program is distributed on both the ground and first floors, expanding through the same structural arch system every 10 meters, with a south stand and a north stand. (2)
Conceptually, the new volume generated by the program’s expansion creates a series of voids to shape spaces of opportunity, such as courtyards or terraces. (3) The new facade is resolved with a permeable skin that protects the building’s interior from the sun, preserves user privacy, and generates protected interior and quality outdoor spaces. (4)
The new design allows some spaces to be open and others closed simultaneously, without the need to open the entire arena to use areas such as the press/conference room or the restaurant, allowing for the simultaneity of uses. (5) More than just an arena, this represents an urban statement, a community space that goes beyond specific events, a place to enjoy every day of the year.
The new Nou Congost not only transforms its structure but also redefines the spectator experience and expands its capabilities as a sports and cultural venue. The strategy translates into architectural and functional solutions that turn this facility into a vibrant destination in Manresa and its surroundings.
The openness to the outside and the consideration of the nearby and distant surroundings shape a design that encourages sports, cultural, and social activities. A large public square, connecting the venue with surrounding facilities pedestrianly, becomes a dynamic meeting point, providing complementary uses and revitalizing urban interaction.
The proposal to increase the capacity for events with spectators on the court is presented as an innovative solution to boost revenue. Beyond the numbers, the ability to segment the venue by opening only specific areas proves to be key in reducing operational costs and ensuring a versatile offering for the city.
The introduction of retractable stands and the reorganization of existing stands not only optimize space but also enhance the visual experience for the spectator. The curvature based on a constant C value ensures visual quality from any perspective in the arena.
The diversified catering offer, with strategic points of sale, adds additional layers to the user experience. The combination of preserved architectural elements, such as the sheet metal roof and brick walls, with new metal structures and glass facades, successfully merges the old with the new in this renovation proposal for the Nou Congost.