The designers’ brief was to renovate and refurbish all structural and architectural elements, with the addition of new architectural features, and reinstate the entire facility in compliance with current regulations. As a result, the project aimed to conserve all existing structures, classified as part of a listed complex by Italy’s environmental and architectural heritage authority and make the stadium once again fit for public use.
Key new elements are the third spectator ring, or tier, and the new roof replacing the former partial covering. All new structures were designed to blend with the original architecture.
With the addition of a third ring, the original standing capacity of 65 thousand became 27,000 spectators, all seated as required by the new safety norms. A new closed stand was also built on this third spectator tier in correspondence to the former canopy. A staircase tower connects the new enclosure to the ground floor and underground parking space. This vertical communication tower is separate from the stadium and comprises two lifts and a system of overlaid ramps that doubles evacuation capacity. To bring the structure up to current safety standards in terms of unobstructed entrances and exits, the second spectator ring was provided with ten new entrances or vomitories. Their architecture is in keeping with the geometries and characteristics of the original building. Each new entrance has its own series of ramps leading to the exits.
The steel new roof is of simple design and fits well with the existing structures. The canopy is partly transparent to enhance its lightweight appearance, and partly opaque to shade spectators sitting in the higher levels.
The perimeter fencing around the stadium grounds was renovated and a new barrier put in place made of columns of reinforced concrete supporting a continuous transparent canopy. The new stadium gates are in steel like the original entrance.
The stadium underwent more than an external facelift. Internal spatial division was profoundly altered. The main new addition is at ground floor level with the addition of a 1163 square metre commercial area in the northwest sector. The Sports Medicine Centre was relocated and completely renovated. It now comprises 1587 square metres on the ground floor connected to 739 on the first floor. Again on the ground floor, 1793 square metres are now occupied by changing rooms and general services (emergency medical post, anti-doping facilities, athletes’ warm-up area, press and tv room, storage, police and fire brigade posts).
On the first floor, 737 square metres are now occupied by catering facilities, i.e. cafeterias and restaurants. A gym occupies 175 square metres while 263 square metres have been given over to a commercial area.
The stadium also has 1660 square metres of office space on the ground floor and 702 square metres on the first floor.
Underground Parking and the Maratona Tower
The renovation and refurbishment project was completed with the creation of an underground parking area and the complete restoration of the existing Maratona Tower. The new underground garage with a surface area of 2,431 square metres located 3.83 metres below street level is a key facility. Access is via an open, sunken approach that can accommodate coaches carrying the teams. Capacity: 109 vehicles.
The Maratona Tower was in severe disrepair and required major restoration work to be returned it to its former state. The symbol of the Turin football team, it will, however, remain closed to the public for the time being and available only for maintenance work.
The Stadium’s History
A classic example of architecture during Italy’s 20-year fascist regime, Turin’s Stadio Comunale, originally named the Stadio Mussolini, was built to host the Littoriali games in the fascist year XI (1933) organized in Turin by order of Mussolini.
The public building contracts were adjudicated by competition and allocated to three different building contractors: Savero Parisi of Rome for the stadium; Vannacci e Lucherini for the athletics field, Maratona Tower and ticketing facility; Societa AN. Imprese Edili Ing. E. Faletti for the covered swimming pool; Guido de Bernardi for the pitches and tracks.
Work began in late September 1932. The facility was inaugurated only eight months later on May 14, 1933 by party secretary Achille Starace at the inauguration of the Littoriali games. Again in 1933, the stadium hosted the youth Championships. The subsequent year, some World Cup matches were played there, among them the famous Italy-Hungary match of May 11, 1947 when 10 out of the 11 Italian players belonged to the Torino team. In the early years, however, the stadium was home to the Juventus team, with Torino only playing there for the traditional derby matches between the two Turin football teams. It was only at the end of the Fifties, when Torino abandoned its Filadelfia stadium, that the Stadio Comunale became the joint home of both Juventus and Torino. For 30 years, this was Turin’s football sanctum. Juventus won 20 championship league cups and Torino 1. The stadium was finally abandoned with the inauguration of Stadio delle Alpi in time for the Italia ’90 World Cup. Today, with the restoration and renovation carried out by architect Luciano Cenna of Arteco srl and architect Giovanni Cenna under the supervision of Stadium Service, the Stadio Comunale has been given a new lease of life.
The new Stadio Comunale was inaugurated on February 10, 2006 with the arrival of the Olympic flame for the Opening Ceremony of the 20th Winter Olympic Games with some 2 billion spectators around the world. The stadium was again the focus of attention during the Closing Ceremony on February 28.
The stadium has been the backdrop to some of the most glorious moments in Italian football. For more than 50 years it witnessed the joy and despair of the tifosi. It has been the scene of the championship cups, hard-fought matches and tussles between the two home teams, Juventus and Torino. After lying abandoned for 15 years and after the inauguration of the new football stadium Stadio delle Alpi for the Italia ’90 World Cup, this former temple to football has become an Olympic Stadium.
Under the supervision of Stadium Service, renovation work was carried out by two Verona architect practices - architects Luciano Cenna and Giovanni Cenna - both with specific experience of sports facilities. Their work includes the new Venice stadium.
“The Stadio Comunale, an example of fascist, rationalist architecture and an historic symbol both for football and the city of Turin, was a huge challenge for us”, the two architects explain. During our visits of inspection and study we were struck by the extraordinary expressiveness of the complex, its ability to be the theatrical backdrop to memorable events. The intensity of emotion the place conveyed created a strong bond that guided us as we developed our renovation project”.