Multipurpose sports facility, Parma


Client: Municipality of Parma
Location: Parma
Project: 2003-2005
Construction: 2007

Project and works direction: Marco Contini
Collaborators: Elisa Paletti, Davide Fasoli, Sara Chiari

Structures: Massimo Del Fedele Giovanni Feldmann
Mechanical systems: Giovanni Feldmann and Francesca Cavatorta
Electrical systems: Giampaolo Vecchi

Type of intervention: new construction
Functional characteristics: indoor athletics track and multi-purpose field for sports activities
Construction features: structure with glulam arches Sports area
Area: 3,050 sqm. Locker rooms and storage area: 490 sqm

Contractor: Moretti Interholz

First Prize “Rizzardi Polini” Architecture 2010, National Academy of Fine Arts of Parma.

Photo: P.D.P.


The project of the structure is located within a large sports area located along the banks of the river Parma in an area of considerable environmental value overlooking the city centre. This privileged condition has been a reason for reflection throughout the design process in the definition of the dimensional choices and in the use of construction materials.

The project is characterized by the use of a glulam roof structure made of five arched beams with a total length of about 85 meters from the supports and a maximum height of 12 meters from the ground.

The three-hinged arches are joined by a secondary structure formed by orthogonal glulam beams on which the roof package is placed, consisting of a glulam load-bearing panel, a mineral wool insulation layer, the sheath and a pre-painted micro-grained aluminium sheet as cover.

The arches rest by means of metal plates on a series of reinforced concrete baffles connected to each other by a large reinforced foundation capable of withstanding the vertical and horizontal loads of the structure.

The large vertical walls that define the fronts of the building are formed by an aluminium structure with 105×60 uprights and 110×60 crossbars joined to the glulam uprights placed towards the outside. On the aluminium structure are placed the glass panelling with a size of 250 x 125 m. The glass panes are transparent up to a height of 3.75 m. for the entire perimeter of the building, while at higher altitudes a double glazing with a layer of glass wool inside has been used in order to reduce glare and the solar factor and at the same time to obtain a pleasant effect of light diffusion. This solution favours the practice of activities on the inside and a visual relationship with the outside along the entire perimeter of the athletics track.