Architect Patricia Viel On Inter & AC Milan’s Stadium: “The Meazza Was In The Past”

Architect Patricia Viel On Inter & AC Milan’s Stadium: “The Meazza Was In The Past”
November 25, 2021 23:59
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A prominent architect has said that the current San Siro stadium is in the past and the new project must not be hindered by nostalgia, according to a report in the Italian media.

Speaking during an interview with Corriere della Sera, Patricia Viel who is a co-founder of the Citterio-Viel studio which designs hotels, resorts, and residential towers, discussed what must be done to make the new San Siro a reality.

Patricia Viel was very clear when asked if the two stadiums could exist together. She feels that that simply is not an option and then the past must not get in the way of the new project.

“Absolutely not, you would risk making a serious mistake. There is a need for a single stadium, highly innovative and up to the level of the circuit of major international competitions, as the Meazza was in the past. And a project of this type cannot be hindered by a nostalgic feeling.”

Describing why the project must happen and be taken forward Patricia Viel said that new stadiums myst live up to new functionality standards.

“First of all it is a great opportunity for Milan which should not miss a long-term urban planning operation but also a financial one.

“We must also keep in mind that the Meazza is not an infrastructure capable of withstanding, not only in perspective but already today, the functionality that is expected from the great stadiums built in the last ten years.”

The architect also outlined what new stadiums must have to be considered a success in the modern football age, the main feature being the ability to host other events outside of football matches.

“The newly designed stadiums are multifunctional and modular structures that, in addition to football, can host large events capable of economic repercussions: for example concerts or in any case additional services to the city; this allows the operators to obtain a good profitability from the plant.

“Then there are other fundamental themes for an architect: the management of public flows, accessibility and environmental sustainability with the use of innovative materials that technology makes available to us.

“If we think that the Meazza was built in the 1930s, it becomes quite easy to understand why demolition is the right way. All subsequent interventions were necessary but obviously it is a very dated structure.”

It has been clarified that demolishing the Meazza will be very expensive, but Patricia Viel feels it must go ahead.

“Demolishing the Meazza will undoubtedly represent a big cost for investors and also represents a technically very impactful operation.

“It is not an easy decision and everyone realises this, on the other hand remaining in this impasse could become counterproductive.”

When pressed on why it would be counterproductive to keep the Meazza standing, Patricia Viel said: “We have the opportunity to have a state-of-the-art facility, with an investment that will also rethink the entire area around the stadium, improving the quality of life of the citizens.

“The construction of two hotels will be part of the induced activity that today a citadel of sports with the stadium in the centre must necessarily create.

“Furthermore, foreign observers would at least consider the renunciation of a new stadium and a new redevelopment by a dynamic city like Milan to be bizarre.”

Patricia Viel was asked what the new stadium should be like. She said: “An infrastructure capable of renewing itself over time, allowing designers to intervene if new needs arise: it should have a virtuous relationship with the city, an element that I would define as fascinating.

“There must be a vision of territorial quality that must be returned to the citizens.”

There has been much talk of a referendum on the future of the Meazza but Patricia Viel feels this is not the way forward.

“The referendum is not the right tool. We are talking about a strategic decision for the territory and politics together with the investor table play the decisive roles for the choice. It doesn’t seem to me the best way to seek consensus.”

By Euan Burns