After two and a half years of construction, the Kindarena sports center opened its doors to the public Saturday September 8, 2012. Inhabitants will discover the great architectural prowess of this facility, which is designed to host a broad range of national and international sporting events. Throughout the day, initiation to various types of sports, demonstrations and encounters with high-level sportsmen and women will be held on the square of the Kindarena.
Located on the right bank of the Seine close to the historic center of Rouen, the Kindarena, along with other new facilities (the marina, the h2o science discovery center, the 106 stage for contemporary music, the future Luciline district, the 6th bridge, the Flaubert eco-neighborhood and the new quays...), is a key part of a major area redevelopment project undertaken by the agglomeration of Rouen.
The location of this ambitious group of facilities in an area marked for redevelopment underscores the region’s determination to qualify and improve the area along the banks of the Seine and to create a new center for the agglomeration. The Kindarena’s privileged location in the overall organization of the district, situated between the TEOR interchange station, the Docks 76 and the quays of the Seine means this infrastructure is expected to play a central role in the success of this new urban adventure.
The traditionally monumental character of major sports infrastructures tends to create tears in the urban fabric. However, the office of Dominique Perrault Architecture, the laureate of the International Architecture competition launched in 2006 for the design of the Rouen Sports Center, instead took advantage of the Kindarena project to weave new possibilities for exchange into this fabric and increase the number of attractive urban situations by designing a building able to host a broad range of new uses. The issue of the proper place for sports infrastructures in cities is at the heart of the debate on the best way to achieve
successful urban development. This is why the Kindarena, in addition to its function as a sports facility (for over 15 different sports disciplines) is designed to host many other types of events, whether sports-related or cultural, for extended opening hours. Its remarkable architecture affirms its intended purpose as a major civic driver of the intensity of urban life.
When viewed from above, one can see that behind the rectangular geometry of
the roof of the Sports Center, there is a trapezoidal form extending from the southeast corner of the building. This point serves as an interface between the city and the premises of the sports center, a meeting point, an inviting a place to chat and a welcoming place to enter the arena. A new topography has been created by developing the natural terrain into a series of steps leading to a raised public plaza, a magnificent belvedere overlooking the major transformations underway in the Rouen Agglomeration. The southeastern corner of the infrastructure functions like a pyramid, on top of which an inverted pyramid has been placed, a pyramid with two bases and no apex.
The mineral quality of the steps contrasts with the transparent glass curtain surrounding the Kindarena. At the building’s core, two playing fields are demarcated by stands, thereby creating a double arena. A glance at the section rendering of the overall project, one can see hollowed out spaces in the base. All the technical functions of the sports center are organized around the edges of these areas. Beyond the upper plaza, the roof replicates the language of the base. The metallic colors of steps (stainless steel) give the underside and the upper part of the building an immaterial appearance, a feature which surprises and dazzles spectators with its endless interplay of shimmering reflections, and offers a bright and lively addition to the city’s feeling of movement.
The smooth and dark façades on the northwest side is composed of bands of metal and glass, contrasting with the dynamic mineral appearance of the southeast corner. They offer a limited number of openings onto a quiet street dedicated to technical access and the comings and goings of athletes, officials, administrative personnel and the media.
site area 34 000 m2
built area 17 000 m2 SHON
forecourt area 11 000 m2 (hors voirie)
planted area 1 600 m2
beginning of conceptual design 2006
beginning of construction 2010
estimated completion 2012