The San Mames Stadium located in Bilbao, Biscay, Spain is the home of Athletic Club Bilbao, one of the big European football clubs, and their previous stadium was over a hundred years old, being nicknamed as the cathedral of football.
The age of the stadium meant that it was time for a refurbishment and the architectural practice of ACXT was chosen for the project. The stadium overlaps the old San Mames and thus the construction had to be done in two steps to permit the team to train and play on the field during the renovations.
The atmosphere of the original stadium was made more intense through the setup of the stands which are focused on the field to maximize the pressure of the fans toward the game, just as in the old San Mames.
The façade is comprised of twisted ETFE elements that give unity to the overall structure and can be illuminated during the nighttime to become a landmark of the region through the aid of one of the most advanced dynamic lighting systems in the world.