Plans revealed for new 15,000-capacity national stadium in Iceland


Iceland is set for a new national stadium, which would enable to country to meet the UEFA requirements, which its current Laugardalsvöllur National Stadium does not.

Laugardalsvöllur, currently at 9,800 capacity, was built in 1957 and has been renovated in several phases since. It is the second smallest capacity of any national stadium for any European country currently ranked in the FIFA World Top 100 teams and is not fully compliant with UEFA Category 4 requirements. It has therefore required exemptions and special preparations to host competitive matches in international tournaments.

AFL Architects has delivered the outline business case for the national stadium, including a recommendation for a new 15,000-capacity roofed facility that will be home to the country’s national teams.

The full report includes extensive analysis of the current position and key international data/ benchmarks to develop and test a series of potential scenarios.

Laugardalsvollur National Stadium in Iceland

These scenarios comprised of redevelopment, new build, roofed and non-roofed options, for which initial layouts were drawn up with full consideration of the numerous environmental and geotechnical challenges in the region. These options were subsequently analyzed against demographic and attendance figures and costed with due regard to P&L projections.

The final recommendation, when all factors were considered, is a new stadium of fifteen thousand people with an openable roof. This proposal has been taken forward by the client for a final decision to be made by the Icelandic government, KSÍ, and the City of Reykjavík.

Part of AFL’s appointment hinged on the assembly of a specialist team supported by skilled, local representation. The team is a consortium of AFL / IPW… / Core Five / Hilson Moran and Ramboll. Local representation included Mannverk, Mannvit and Arkis, who have provided valuable geotechnical, climate and cultural advice to the project.

“To be selected by our client for such a nationally and historically important project was an honor for our team. It has been a testament of our ability to work openly and collaboratively, encouraging diverse ideas and bringing forward workable, effective solutions to some truly unique challenges. I am confident the vision we have delivered will be achieved. Iceland deserves a stadium that reflects their extraordinary footballing achievements,” said John Roberts, Director, AFL Architects.

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at print and digital magazines and websites around the world covering everything from lifestyle to sport, technology, motoring, and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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