Eurovision 2022 at Pala Alpitour Turin
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The Pala Alpitour arena for Eurovision 2022: skywalks, waterfalls and italian gardens

It's worth going to Turin in these days because, besides the music, the reworked Pala Isozaki confirms the venue as one of the best examples of post-2006 olympics architecture

Arata Isozaki & Associates

Eurovision 2022 at Pala Alpitour Turin
By Editorial Staff -

You might not be Blanco or Mahmood fans, and you might not even know their songs. You might not even get excited about Eurovision 2022, where these two singers will in fact be representing Italy. Or perhaps you didn't manage to get hold of tickets for this mega event, since the 7,000 available seats sold out in next to no time. So what reasons would prompt you to head for Turin on the excuse of Eurovision? 

A good reason is that Pala Alpitour ‒ also known as Pala Isozaki, and the arena hosting the event ‒ is one of the greatest examples of recent architecture in the city of the 2006 Winter Olympics, designed by none other than Arata Isozaki, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2019. In addition, starting last 14 November 2021, and through to the 2025 edition, Pala Alpitour is the venue for the ATP Finals, the international tennis event with the world's eight best players on court (>>> take a look at the eco-sustainable indoor courts designed by Benedetto Camerana). The interesting thing is that the building will have its own unusual identity for Eurovision: 'green' rooms with floral decoration, temporary gardens, and settings created down to the smallest details by young architects and designers. 

 

Pala Alpitour - Arata Isozaki ©marcoschiavone, courtesy Benedetto Camerana

 

Dominating the scene indoors will be a moving sun, while the area where the artists perform will 'melt' into a waterfall feeding a fountain that is part of an Italian garden traced out for the occasion. Instead, a media village in a tensile structure on the lawn has been erected for journalists and this is connected to the arena by a sky walkway. The Casa Italia - Palazzo Madama media centre has also been created in the heart of the city, in Piazza Castello. In this recent case too, Pala Isozaki has successfully met the challenge of what it was designed for: its subsequent reuse and versatility once the Olympics were over. So here we have various reasons to see it and take a leisurely stroll through neighbourhoods that have been upgraded in recent years.

 

Go to the Pala Alpitour arena for Eurovision 2022 even without a ticket

Outside, Pala Alpitour stands as a large parallelepiped 185 metres long, 100 wide and 20 tall, resting as if hovering on a glass and concrete ribbon. Its exterior is clad in chequered stainless steel panels, with movement added by slim windows. The effect is austere and was inspired ‒ the Japanese architect explained at the time of its unveiling ‒ by the orthogonal layout of Turin. The design is also dynamic thanks to the play of light on the steel panels, which varies constantly.

Inside, the building comprises four levels and these are accessed by a large hall featuring a tilted mirrored wall, reflecting the people who enter. The walls to the seating area and the horizontal structures are mobile so they can be adapted to any event the arena hosts. What does not change however is that access is at mid-height, enabling all spectators to easily reach their places by climbing or descending the stairs in this seating area.

 

>>> Why is the Allianz Tower by Isozaki, in Milan, also known as the Endless Tower?

 

And so the building features great versatility, and has enhanced the attraction of its neighbourhood, which had been seeking identity for a long time and was upgraded thanks to the Winter Olympics. In fact, the Corso Sebastopoli avenue has been reworked, with pedestrianisation of this section and the one in front of Piazza d'Armi, harmonising with the local architecture.

 

Pala Alpitour - Arata Isozaki Istock, © claudiodivizia

 

Pala Alpitour: a 'green' room with plants and a garden for Eurovision

The arena will have three starring elements for Eurovision: sun, water and nature. The work to set up the main stage started on 15 March, and central to this area will be a sun made up of concentric arcs, while a pool with waterfall ‒ a component already seen in Eurovision history ‒ will be positioned in front of this. There will also be a green room with plants and garden where the delegations can follow events after their performances.

The ex-Olympic arena will welcome 7,000 spectators, while outside a 3,300 m2 roofed construction houses the changing rooms and the relaxation zone for the delegations. Instead a structure of 5,500 m2 will serve as the press area, with 500 work stations and interview areas.

 

>>> Europe's largest roof garden on top of the Lingotto, Turino

 

>>> There's time until 31 May to sign up for THE PLAN Award 2022. This annual international prize recognises excellence in architecture, interior design and urban planning, and has 20 theme-based categories, including SPORT & LEISURE, which focuses on sports grounds and facilities, play parks and leisure spaces.

 

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Credits

Location: Torino

Project by Arata Isozaki

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