[SPORTS ★★★] NEW SOCCER STADIUM IN FRANCE IS AN UNUSUAL WORK OF ARCHITECTURE
(P1) The ARCHITECTURAL FIRM of Herzog & de Meuron has completed a MONUMENTAL new stadium in Bordeaux framed by 900 slim white COLUMNS, which will be one of the key VENUES for next year’s Euro football championship.
(P2) Officially INAUGURATED on Monday, the 42,000-seat Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux will HOST five matches during the UEFA Euro 2016 competition, and will become the home stadium of French team FC Girondins de Bordeaux.
(P4) Slender columns support a sharp-edged rectangular roof, which steps down to create the curved bowl of the stadium.
(P11) The columns surround all four sides of the structure. A large ribbon-like structure weaves back and forth among them to create a series of food stalls and toilet facilities around the PERIMETER of the arena.
(P12) The bowl itself COMPRISES two TIERS of seating, divided up into four sections. Like most modern stadiums, these seating areas are sheltered beneath the roof, while the PITCH is entirely exposed to THE ELEMENTS.
(P13) The building’s structure is not visible from inside the bowl – the INTENTION was to avoid DISTRACTING the spectators’ attention. Instead, a LAYER of ACOUSTIC PANELS help to improve the quality of sound.
(P14) Other FACILITIES, including VIP rooms, media areas and team changing rooms, are contained within an area set directly below the bowl. There is also a 200-seat restaurant and a team MERCHANDISE shop.
(P17) French landscape architect Michel Desvigne designed landscape improvements around the site, including an area for community sporting activities with basketball and tennis courts, and a children’s playground.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Why do you think the architectural firm designed this stadium to look so different from other stadiums?
- The architects were inspired by natural forms. What sort of nature outing do you enjoy best – the mountains, the forests, or the seashore?
- Do you like traditional or modern architecture better?
- Do you often visit stadiums for sporting events or concerts?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE: What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Draw a comparison
- The elements