New stadium for SC Freiburg
Big reception for a special club
In terms of its setting, club and following, football has always been something special in Freiburg. With the building of the new Wolfswinkel Stadium, it is finally gaining a new home.
Anyone who has ever experienced the atmosphere in the Schwarzwald Stadium on the Dreisam River knows that the bar for the new stadium currently under construction is already high: close to the match action, family-minded, emotional and primal football at its best and finest.
Since the Dreisam Stadium barely meets the needs of a modern stadium, whether to modify the existing stadium or build a new one has long been under discussion. In December 2012, Freiburg City Council paved the way for a new development in Wolfswinkel next to the airfield and the exhibition center, which the people of Freiburg then approved in a public vote in 2015. At the same time, on the website "Stadion-in-Freiburg.de", a detailed catalog of requirements from the fans' point of view was drawn up with the active participation of the fan scene and SC Freiburg backers. It became apparent early on that any anonymous drawing board stadium would be unwanted here.
New stadium with a sense of proportion
Fortunately, this was clear to all those officially involved in this project from the very beginning. After a judicious review of the situation, it was obvious that what was wanted was not oversizing or economic megalomania that would commit the club to (international) success, but a design that would accommodate all the interests of the fans, the club and all the backers on a single site, or more precisely, under a single stadium roof. And this taking long-term account of possible stints in the second division.
Competition for the new stadium
For the building project, a competition was held to obtain a suitable architectural design. The result was to be an out-and-out football stadium with direct proximity to the action and a capacity of around 35,000 spectators. At the top of the wish list was a large standing-area terrace, as in the existing Dreisam Stadium, which continues to make football an affordable and close-up experience.
Unanimous jury verdict
From the submissions, the jury unanimously chose the design by HPP Architekten GmbH in Düsseldorf. In August 2017, Stadion Freiburg Objektträger GmbH & Co. KG, a joint venture of the city of Freiburg and SC Freiburg, commissioned Köster GmbH in Osnabrück to serve as general contractor for the realization of the new construction project.
Architecture of the essential
The winning design of the Düsseldorf architects envisages a building corpus with a clear and timeless elegance that blends gently into the landscape. The architecture focuses on the essential: a clear structure, short distances, openness and transparency.
The entrances at the corners open onto the forecourts with ground-level admission on all sides, forming a seamless transition to the stadium's surroundings. The stands are arranged to offer spectators an ideal view of the pitch and generate a powerful atmosphere by creating a cauldron effect. "After all, the emphasis is on a shared experience for all fans," says Antonino Vultaggio, partner at HPP. "The decisive factor was to meet the requirements of equal treatment of all spectators and to make football experienceable in the stadium from any place at any time."
"The decisive factor was our unbeatable lengths of 18 meters, which eliminate the need to chop up the visually dominant façade columns."Thomas Reinhardt, Regional Sales Manager
"After successful stadium projects, such as recently in St. Pauli and for Ajax Amsterdam, I am delighted that we were also able to serve the new stadium in Freiburg."Bernd Hollaender, ProPipe Managing Director
Tubes play crucial structural and design role
Mannesmann Line Pipe supplied around 530 metric tons of HFI-welded steel tubes for the façade structure that dominates the design. These tubes play an important structural and certainly the decisive design role in the new stadium's outward appearance. "The crucial factor was our unbeatable lengths of 18 meters, which eliminate the need to chop up the visually dominant façade columns," says Thomas Reinhardt, who, in cooperation with Bernd Hollaender from tube dealer ProPipe in Willich, supervised the project on behalf of Mannesmann Line Pipe.
The tubes produced in steel grade S355J2H were fabricated in the dimensions 406.4 x 20.0 mm in 18-meter lengths and 406.4 x 25.0 mm in 10.7-meter lengths in accordance with production standard EN 10210. From Hamm, they were supplied as required to Stahl- und Anlagenbau Schädlich GmbH in Stützengrün.
One-stop shopping for further processing and assembly
Here the tubes were cut exactly to length and fitted with fork heads before being blasted and painted. The tubes were then transported just-in-time by truck to the construction site in Freiburg. There the tube structures were brought into position with mobile cranes and the fork heads attached to the roof and ground with suitably fabricated bolt connectors.
Hollaender was very impressed immediately after erection of the first façade columns: "In recent years we have supplied many well-known stadiums with tubes. The new arena at Wolfswinkel, however, is a special project for a very likeable club. I'm already looking forward to meeting up with Messrs. Reinhardt and Schädlich to watch the first game there."
At Stahl- und Anlagenbau Schädlich GmbH, the tubes were fitted with fork heads before being shot blasted and painted. Photo: © Stahl- und Anlagenbau Schädlich GmbH
Schädlich also handled the erection of the tube structures on site.
Photo: © Klaus Polkowski
Photo: © Klaus Polkowski
New home for the friendliest Bundesliga football club
New home for the friendliest Bundesliga football club
Sport-Club Freiburg e. V. was founded on May 30, 1904. The club has always been known for its continuity and solidity. Since 1991, for example, the club has only employed four coaches. One of them was Volker Finke, the coach with the longest term of office in German professional football (1991 to 2007). By comparison, Hamburger Sportverein (HSV) can “boast” 25 changes of coach over the same period.
Bundesliga champion of hearts
It is unlikely that Freiburg will win the championship in the foreseeable future – but the champion of hearts it has long become. TU Braunschweig conducted a representative survey in 2019, carrying out over 4,000 interviews of individual football fans. On the strength of such factors as tradition, authenticity and regional loyalty, the "small" club from the Breisgau region won the "title" with ease.
From the Dreisam to Wolfswinkel
Since 1954, the home ground of SC Freiburg has been the Dreisam or Schwarzwald Stadium, which can accommodate around 24,000 spectators. In many respects, it barely meets either modern requirements or the stadium regulations of the German Football League. In December 2012, Freiburg City Council voted in favor of a new stadium.
New stadium and much more besides
The overall design also envisages new offices and training and functional rooms for the professional and U23 teams as well as a fan shop. In addition, a training ground with two full-size pitches and goalkeeper training areas will be built in the stadium's immediate vicinity along with circulation and parking areas for cycles, cars and buses.
The business, conference and event areas within the stadium are designed to be used independently during and outside football matches. The VIP areas on the upper floors are located in a projecting structure that forms a covered entrance area, thus identifying the main building.
A total of around EUR 80 million will be invested in the stadium, training grounds and parking spaces required under building law. Added to this are infrastructure costs of around EUR 55 million. In addition to the cost of roads and pathways, these include expenditure on expert opinions, ecological compensation measures and further extra parking spaces.
Opening for the 2020/2021 season
The new home venue at Wolfswinkel for a 34,700 capacity is scheduled to open in the coming season. More than a third of this is standing space, which makes football, as in the Dreisam Stadium, a still affordable touchline experience.