|Eduardo Souto de Moura - Portugal
Braga Municipal Stadium
Dume Sports Park, Braga
2000 - 2004
Winning the competition to host the UEFA 2004 international European soccer meant the construction or remodeling of ten stadiums in different parts of Portugal.
The brief for the Braga Municipal Stadium called for covered seating sections for 30,000 spectators on either side of the football field. This building is one of seven
new stadia built for the occasion in Portugal. The Braga Municipal Stadium has been identified as the most spectacular of the new stadia, and was regarded by UEFA
as one of the most interesting works in the landscape of sports structures. Eduardo Souto de Moura became architect in charge. For him, who twenty years before built in
the rural outskirts of Braga his first work, the Carandá market, the commissen was a return to this region. With the stadium he realized a project of greater physical
and symbolic dimension than all his previous works. The stadium is home of the Sporting Clube de Braga, which is known from appearances in international competitions.
Braga is a city in the north of Portugal, located midway between Porto and the border with Galicia. The Braga Municipal Stadium is situated within the Dume Sports Park
on the northern slope of Monte Castro. The municipal master plan specified the location of the Stadium as a sports zone, serving as an anchor point for any future
development in the area as the city expands northwards. The site for the building was chosen in order to avoid building a dam along the water's edge in the valley.
The stadium is carved into the rocky slope of the adjacent Monte Castro quarry which overlooks the city of Braga. With a height of 40 meters, the design for the stadium
consists of two squares with the same degree of sloping. An important feature of the project is the sloping roof, which was originaly planned to look like a continuous visor,
refering to the Expo Pavillon by Alvaro Siza. In the end, the roof was inspired by the suspension bridges, marvels of engineering, the Peruvian Incas built to span
the deep river gorges that separated the cities. Each stand is covered by a canopy-style roof.
The Braga Municipal Stadium received the Prémio SECIL in Portugal in 2004 and the Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award for best new global design in 2006.
When Eduardo Souto de Moura won the 2011 Pritzker Prize, US President Barack Obama delivered a speech for the award winner, considering the stadium "perhaps Eduardo's
most famous work" where he "took great care to position the stadium in such a way that anyone who couldn't afford a ticket could watch the match from the surrounding hillside."