The Cathedral of Soccer
Whether filled for the high mass of sport where over 20,000 people gather on the evenings of matches , or totally empty, the Auguste Delaune Stadium stands as a counterpoint to the Cathedral of Reims. A contemporary monument dedicated to the emotion of sport, it welcomes fervent supporters right in the city center.
Built in the "English" style, it includes two tiers of stands that let spectators get as close as possible to the game. The concrete lower stands anchor the stadium in the ground, while the upper stands are raised by the power of a metal structure, the maximum lightness of it being amplified by a taut textile roof.
Between the two levels, light circulates, the landscape is glimpsed, and there is a subtle contrast between the massive "Roman" base and the "Gothic" elevation of the stands.
Designed by Michel Rémon with lighting designer Yves Adrien, this light which never dazzles the players, comes from multiple sources, arranged cleverly on the edge of the roof of the stands and, in particular, atop the four oblique masts.
When the still of night returns after a game, these four 75-meter-tall light masts, which are fitted with a vertical line of spotlights, continue to light the stadium. Like cathedral spires, these immense, obliquely slanted juggler's torches keep watch over the city and announce it from afar. Set at the four corners of the field and pointing towards the sky, they speak of the past history and future glory of soccer in Reims.
"Four large Mikado masts and a roof over the stands that emerges from the trees like a Japanese lantern: these few markers create the decor of a festival where an entire city gathers for moments of intense communion."