Construction of temporary grandstands for the 2023 World Championships in Athletics in the new National Athletics Centre
After the event, the temporary upper tier will be removed, and a public leisure park will be created on the plateau.

Sustainability in Stadium Construction

"White Elephants" are the names given to sports venues that are left as ghost towns after their use. Why? Because they were often planned for just one event and are completely oversized for the subsequent use of the local population, as no thought was given to further use or deconstruction. With the "National Athletics Center" for the IAAF World Championships in Athletics 2023 in Budapest, NAPUR Architekten and NUSSLI show that modern stadium construction can function differently today – with foresight and sustainability.

October 2022

The requirements for the new stadium are high: it has to offer 15,000 seats and be expandable for major international sporting events. At the same time, the expansion process must be economical and flexible. As part of an urban development vision, it should also make a sustainable contribution to the development of the region well beyond next year's World Championships in Athletics.

Planned with foresight, built with temporary structures

The challenging task of planning the 15-hectare stadium complex with park was undertaken by the team from NAPUR Architect. Together with NUSSLI, they are responsible for the temporary expansion for the World Championships. Both the architects and the event construction specialists have been thinking and working in a particularly forward-looking and sustainable way for a long time.

Consequently, they are relying primarily on intelligent temporary structures for the new stadium and its premiere for the World Championships next year. The design of the new athletics stadium foresees a flexible and multifunctional facility. The concept works with an elevated reception level. While the lower level provides permanent seating for 15,000 spectators, the elevated level offers a view into the stadium and across the park with the Danube. This plateau area will be used for the 2023 Athletics World Championships for a temporary upper tier with a further 25,000 seats, which will be completely dismantled.

It will become an urban inner-city gathering area after the major event. Plans include covered and illuminated running and roller-skating tracks, street workout facilities, training areas and street food offerings for sports enthusiasts. The free plateau area will thus be actively used on a daily basis but will remain equally usable in the future for a next major event requiring additional space.

Beyond the end in itself

The new "National Athletics Center" will be built on the former Vituki industrial estate on the banks of the Danube. With the construction of the stadium, this area will be sustainably redeveloped and turned into an attractive public sports and recreation park.

It has long been known that event venues should no longer serve purely as an end in themselves. The combination of permanent and temporary structures forms a responsible solution for large-scale events in the sports and cultural sector that brings flexibility and does not leave behind any undesirable "white elephants".


Marike van der Ben

Marike van der Ben

Head of Marketing & Communication
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