Stadiums shared by two football teams have been seen as problematic for many reasons; one of the major objections is the difficulty in making a joint stadium feel like home for two groups of people. In order that the ground doesn’t offend half the users, it becomes neutral, and ends up loved by none. Maybe that underlies the novel feature of the Allianz Arena, soon to be home of Bayern and TSV 1860 Munich.

The stadium is impressive architecturally, with the exposed steelwork of the cantilever hidden behind a screen, creating a totally different shape to the building. Maybe British stadia are going for the exposed exo-skeleton look on aesthetic grounds, but it’s far more likely that it’s simply because it’s cheaper that way. As Simon Inglis points out in Engineering Archie, a book about the great British football stadium designer Archie Leitch, the cheap and functional always took pride over the aesthetic. British grounds were engineered, not designed. Not much has changed, it would seem.

But back to the problem of club identity; the architects behind the Arena have come up with an amazing solution; the screen transmits light, so the stadium

changes colour

depending on who

is playing.

TMFD