Dezeen Magazine

Stadium with exoskeleton

Populous designs solar-powered arena as "landmark for Munich"

A decorative exoskeleton that references the Bavarian flag will surround the Multifunctional Concert and Congress Center stadium, which architecture studio Populous is designing in Munich, Germany.

Set to host a mix of concerts and large-scale events, the round 20,000-capacity arena will be built on parkland beside the LabCampus innovation centre at Munich Airport.

Render of arena with exoskeleton
Populous is designing a multifunctional arena in Munich

According to Populous, its design will ensure "a high recognition factor" while paying homage to the heritage of Bavaria, the state in which Munich is situated.

This will be achieved with the building's distinctive rhombus-shaped exoskeleton, which references the lozenge-like forms that make up the Bavarian state flag.

"Our design aims to create a unique destination – compact, efficient, and visually stunning," said Populous' associate principal Sin-Jae Yoo.

"It will be an instantly recognisable venue, reflecting the character and culture of the area and offering an unparalleled visitor experience," Yoo continued. "The arena will create a new landmark for Munich."

Render of MUCcc arena entrance by Populous
It will have an exoskeleton that references the Bavarian flag

Populous' proposal for the Multifunctional Concert and Congress Center (MUCcc) was the winning entry in a multi-stage competition held for the venue's design.

It is now being developed in collaboration with local developer SWMUNICH Real Estate, with the aim of boosting the region’s cultural offering and local economy.

Alongside its nod to Bavaria, the design will incorporate renewable energy sources that are hoped to supply all of the energy that the stadium requires to operate.

"Several thousand solar panels on the roof of the arena and around the site, coupled with the potential for geothermal energy and district heating, will ensure that the energy for operating the arena can be generated and supplied on site," Populous explained.

The building, which is designed to be visible "even from a distance", will also incorporate a row of trees around its roof.

Inside, MUCcc's seating will be organised in a horseshoe shape with a steep gradient to maximise sightlines and views of the stage.

The design will also incorporate "state-of-the-art technology and the expertise of acoustic specialists", according to the studio.

A construction start date is yet to be announced for the project, but according to the MUCcc website, it is hoped to open within the next five years.

Render of arena interior by Populous
Seating will be arranged in a horseshoe shape

Elsewhere, Populous is currently also finalising its design for the MSG Sphere music and esports arena in London, which recently won planning approval.

Other large venues by the studio, which was founded in 1983, include the Ice Ribbon built for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.