WW Architecture, Houston
From the Jury:
The stadium doesn’t try to mimic the adjacent mountains, but operates in opposition to them like great minimalist land art. The gap between the upper and lower seating banks brings the landscape into the stadium in a sublime way, not overpowering the play on the field but somehow underscoring its primal beauty.
This is my soccer club. The stadium is where I will go to see my team, alongside tens of thousands of my compatriots.
The stadium is a matter of immense scale and extreme intimacy. These scales are not tamed here; they are combined to exploit their differences.
Infrastructure — roads, parking, and the control over the grounds — is integrated into a new network of micro landscapes, walkways, and places to sit, meet, play, gather, and walk.
The new Grand Stade d’Oujda will play many roles. It will be home to the Mouloudia Soccer Club. Its grounds will form a vibrant new public space, both during games and when the stadium is not in use. Its luminous ring will be an important symbol for the Rif region in northeastern Morocco, for those going to the stadium as well as for passersby making their way to and from Oujda.
The stadium is first and foremost a sequence of perceptions: a hovering object, a ring lightly tethered to the landscape, a series of tailored entry points, an elevated promenade pressed between the upper and lower bowls of seating, and, finally, a single room holding a teaming crowd of soccer fans.
A shimmering form set into an evanescent horizon. A room for 45,000 people: 90,000 eyes focused on one foot meeting a ball. In the middle of a vast landscape.