IN SHORT

Start of work: July 2017
Synthetic surface laid: November 2017
Official opening: June 2018
Project cost: 2.4 million euros (1.4 million Fondazione Cariplo call for tender; 300,000 euros contributed by the Municipality of Domodossola; 700,000 euros contributed by Sport Group)
Project management: Piero Piana (architect)
Construction: AEDES S.r.l.
Sports center management: Marco Longo Dorni

Sport Architecture
(Italy)

With the redevelopment of the Curotti stadium, swimming pools, surrounding sports fields and athletics track, the sports center in Domodossola has once again become a landmark for sports lovers and the entire community. And the Juventus Domo players can finally train and play on a MONDO-built LND standard field.

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“The Curotti Stadium is much more than just a football field: It is a real focal point for the city of Domodossola.” Marco Longo Dorni, sports center manager.

There are areas in cities that are made for socializing and sharing experiences. Sports centers are built with this in mind — to give the community some areas where it can come together, and can nurture passions, positive values and team spirit.

Unfortunately, in Domodossola, that feeling had been lost at Curotti Stadium and the sports complex where it’s located, until a redevelopment project began in 2017. Construction was completed at the beginning of 2018, and the renovated stadium officially opened on schedule on June 3, to coincide with Sports Day in Italy.

THE CHALLENGE: GET THE JUVE DOMO TEAM ON HOME GROUND AGAIN, AND GIVE THE COMMUNITY BACK ITS SPORTS CENTER

Ten months of work, often in atrocious weather conditions, brought Curotti Stadium back to life. Today, if you fly over the sports complex, the blue ring of the athletics track and the large green rectangle inside of it — with its grassy surface and swimming pools — immediately catch your eye.

Since the 1950s, the stadium had always been used by professionals (it was here that Juve Domo reached the C2 division before being forced to go to Villadossola) and cherished by sports fans. This was exactly what the municipality’s project presented to the Fondazione Cariplo, «Dal borgo della cultura al borgo dello sport» (“From the city of culture to the city of sport”) had in mind.

It was thanks to the foundation’s invitation to bid and contributions by the municipality and Sport Group (the company that will manage the sports center) that the desire to give the city and the province back its sports center became a reality.

“I believe that redeveloping the sports centers present today in Italy may be a huge challenge, but one that we must tackle to give an increasing number of people the chance to practice sport at the amateur and professional levels.” Piero Piana, architect

Redeveloping a well-established sports center, adapting it to the new building, sports and safety standards — while meeting budget, management and maintenance needs, as well as the center’s recreational aims — is a very demanding task.

When working on the Curotti Stadium, Piero Piana, the architect responsible for the project, collaborated with the national sports federations that manage the homologation system to ensure that the football field and track could host professional competitions.

For the 11-a-side football field, in particular, the initial plans were to install a standard LND certifiable system that would allow Juventus Domo to play once again on its home ground.

For Marco Longo Dorni, the manager of the sports center, on the other hand, it was important that the selected system would maintain its characteristics and performance attributes, be easy to maintain and permit intensive use.

With a joint commitment from the AEDES and MONDO team, an artificial turf system was presented that was able to meet, and even exceed, the contractor’s demands because it was both STANDARD LND and PROFESSIONAL certified and perfect for five- and seven-a-side fields that complete the sports center.

That system is now the field where the Juventus Domo team can train again and where local children can spend their summer holidays without ruining their favorite players’ field.

MANAGING A MULTISPORTS COMPLEX IS … COMPLEX!

“The Curotti Stadium has always been a meeting point for schools, runners and sports enthusiasts. And even after being restyled and going over to private management like ours, it must continue to be what it has always been for generations of people from the town and elsewhere.” Marco Longo Dorni, sports center manager

Building a relationship between the public and the staff, resolving problems between different users, and maintaining a facility are just some of the challenges of managing a sports center.

In Domodossola, the rebuilding of Curotti Stadium finally has separate changing rooms for football players and track and field athletes, which makes it much easier to schedule training times for those using the field and those using the track.

Entrusting management of the center to one company, Sport Group, has improved its usability and put the various support activities into the hands of a tightly knit team of professionals who are responsible for a number of different tasks, ranging from administrative work to lifeguard service and maintenance.

As far as the football fields are concerned, the artificial turf system has proved to be a positive move. The turf system does not completely eliminate the need for maintenance, but it does reduce it significantly.

“The common belief that an artificial (field) does not need any maintenance is unfounded, since it has to be watered in the summer to avoid overheating and premature wear, and the rubber that inevitably spreads unevenly over the (field) surface with use must be pulled tight once a week. However, there is obviously much less maintenance than there is on a normal natural grass (field),” Longo Dorni said.

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