The new home of Real Club Deportivo (RCD) Espanyol Football Club in Barcelona, Spain, has won first prize for the best sporting facility worldwide in 2010, in a competition organised by the Guinness group.

Arup participated in the structural design and fire protection of this stadium during the project phase, in close collaboration with the architects Reid Fenwick Associates and Gasulla & Associates. Located in the city of Cornellá, Barcelona, the new Espanyol stadium has a capacity to hold 45,000 spectators, and various commercial and sports facilities, such as a library and a hotel.

Officially inaugurated on 2 August 2009, the stadium is conceived as an element of creation of new infrastructures and interrelation among the citizens, following the criteria of new stadiums in Europe, with the inclusion of a recreational centre for all the family and several equipments beyond the sportive facilities.

The stadium is composed of two areas; the stands and the ring that surrounds them. The facility has a clear and strong design, with definite geometrics, and a facade conceived as a flying and translucent curtain with the club colours, which get illuminated at night.

The Arup Madrid structures team was in charge of the structural design of both stands and foundations, and the roof, which were designed in reinforced concrete and steel respectively. One of the most interesting aspects of the design is the shape of the roof – totally flat and with large lights between columns of up to 200m. With the aim of achieving the best visibility, the design of the stadium has considered the position of the spectators, situating them as close as possible to the playing field.