Let’s Make Waves

During an event, an arena is more of a synchronized-moving crowd than it is a vacant-static building. Events can cause architecture to be powered by swarming spectators who browse concessions, locate amenities, and get to their seat. In these times, stadiums are landmark destinations for more than a good game. The arena is where we arrive together punctually and riffle the structure-less space in flowing unison.

© Aldo Amoretti, photographer

The handball arena of Pays d’Aix, with a reported 10,000 seating capacity, has an in-the-round exterior that is sculpturally constructed of overlapping oblong bands expressively shadowing themselves.

Arena Pais d'Aix
© Aldo Amoretti, photographer

The layers effectively smooth the contour of this building with different roof heights, giving the appearance of a single building mass. In the future, we might see Pays d’Aix as a host city for the World Handball Championship.


Written by CPG


Auer Weber and Christophe Gulizzi, architects and co-authors. Arena du Pays d’Aix. Communauté du Pays d’Aix, SPLA pays d’Aix Territoires, client. Fayat Bâtiment, lead firm. CTE, Artelia, VRI, Altia, TPF-I, Kanju, Agence Guillermin, VS-A, R2M, AXIMA concept, INEO Provence et Côte d’Azur, consultants. Aix-en-Provence, FR, c. 2015-2017.
Aldo Amoretti, photographer.
Edina Obermoser, “A Delicate Veil: Revitalization Project in Rome,” Detail (blog), November 20, 2017.