RCF Arena

The largest open-air concert arena built in Europe is born in Reggio Emilia, from a zero-impact urban regeneration project that transforms the non-operational area of the airport, covering an area of more than 20 hectares, into a park for events and concerts capable of accommodating up to 100,000 people.
The project signed by Iotti + Pavarani Architetti, Tassoni & Partners and Studio LSA recomposes different ways of using the open space into a unified organic system. An urban park designed to host events of various kinds, even with very intense public influxes. A permanent and equipped structure unique in its capacity, flexibility and services. A place specifically designed to attract major international musical productions.

The work is the result of a virtuous collaboration between public and private: an intervention strongly oriented towards sustainability, aimed at affecting the social and economic life of the city, as well as promoting the vast territory and its excellence in terms of culture, tourism and entertainment.
Inaugurated last 4 June with a concert-event celebrating Luciano Ligabue’s 30-year career, RCF Arena was born at Campovolo.

The project concept interprets the characteristics of the site with an intervention that relies solely on the tools of landscape design, while a system of paths with an organic layout tends to link the new green infrastructure to the sinuous course of the watercourses that surround it. The different spaces of the complex are thus collected and unified in a single recognisable and discreet sign of the area. The entire area is conceived to become a new urban park, close to the city and connected to the naturalistic system surrounding the airport, with the completion of a 5-kilometre cycle track and the planting of more than 1,500 trees and shrubs, thus giving back to the city a mosaic of landscapes in which citizens will be able to find naturalistic areas, paths and equipped spaces.

The organic form that gathers the public during concerts is finally reaffirmed by a perimeter system that defines its edge and allows its geometry to be recognised: a light and permeable crown made up of thousands of flag fabric elements, which generates an inclusive and recognisable atmosphere that is at the same time extremely dynamic, sensitive to wind currents and in ideal resonance with the movement of the audience and the music. This crown is prolonged to accompany the access path to the arena cavea, which acquires an elongated layout, organic to the course of the water channels that lap its edges. water channels that lap its edges. This generates a fundamental visual continuity with the paths, while the flows and movements of the public become substantial elements of the project.

Project: RCF Arena
Studio: Iotti + Pavarani Architetti, Tassoni & Partners and Studio LSA
Location: Reggio Emilia, Italy
Year: 2022
Photos: Hutfon+Crow and Iotti+ Pavarani