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GelreDome, Arnhem, Netherlands

Sketch of the GelreDome in Arnhem

Building information:

Over one million visitors pass through the turnstiles at GelreDome each year. The events complex hosts over sixty large-scale annual events. In addition, many meetings and conferences are held at GelreDome. The complex has a maximum capacity of 34,000.

Opened on 25 March 1998, Arnhem’s GelreDome was the world’s first multi-functional events complex with a retractable football pitch. This level of flex-ibility also renders GelreDome the Netherlands’ largest theatre. The complex can undergo a complete transformation within just five hours, for example, from a football stadium to a pop venue or a tennis arena to an exhibition cen-tre. Another exceptional feature of GelreDome is that it is fully heated, which makes it equally comfortable to performers and spectators.

GelreDome’s closable roof further extends its multifunctionality. When the roof is closed and the lighting extinguished, it becomes a black box which offers countless possibilities when staging shows, presentations and con-certs.

GelreDome has a retractable pitch. The flick of a switch is all that is required to extend the concrete box, which contains the pitch, through beneath the southern grandstand. GelreDome has had the same playing surface for the past decade. It is usually left outside in a south-facing area, which is exposed to the elements: Ideal conditions for grass

GelreDome thanks its good acoustics to the cladding on the interior of the walls and roof, which is made of a perforated synthetic material that absorbs sound rather than reflecting it. In fact, the roof can absorb up to 50 decibels, which is equivalent to half the sound produced during a concert.