Falcarragh man is key player in San Siro project

Declan Sharkey

A DONEGAL man is leading the €1 billion development of the new San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy.
Declan Sharkey from Falcarragh is a Senior Principal and General Manager, Populous Italia, the leading global design and entertainment specialist design practice.
Last month, AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano announced that Populous’ project – named ‘The Cathedral’ – has been selected for their new stadium.
Speaking to the Donegal News, Mr Sharkey explained that ‘The Cathedral’ will be groundbreaking in terms of innovation and sustainability.
The Cathedral is a celebration of the artistic and cultural heritage of Milan. Its design was inspired by two of the most famous buildings in the city – the Duomo di Milano and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele – and will result in a unique stadium that will stand out from any other sporting arena in the world.
“The new stadium, surrounded by a large green area, will be carbon neutral and LEED-certified, thanks to the use of the most innovative materials and cutting-edge technologies in terms of water and electricity usage, as well as noise control. The stadium’s accessibility and user experience will also be outstanding, offering unprecedented safety, comfort and sightlines, as well as a range of new public services,” he said.
A former pupil of Pobalscoil Chloich Cheannfhaola (PCC), Declan is the son of Patrick and Agnes Sharkey, Lower Carrowcannon, Falcarragh. His twin brother, Damien, is managing director of HUB, a London-based residential developer.
“The New Stadium of Milan will become one of the most iconic stadiums in world football. It will create a world-class, modern, and truly bespoke home for the legendary clubs of AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano and form the beating heart of a new civic district. Our design envisages the stadium as the most sustainable in Europe and the focal point of a new sports and entertainment district for Milano that will be alive throughout the year,” he added.
The objective is to have the stadium opened by 2027 and the cost of the complete masterplan development will be in excess of €1 billion.
“I’ll be travelling to Milan weekly as I have been doing for the last few months. The new San Siro will be designed by Populous’ Milan office with the support of our EMEA team in London,” he said.
Over the last 38 years, the practice has developed more than 3,200 sport-focused projects, giving life to some of the world’s most iconic sporting arenas, including Wembley Stadium, the main stadiums for the Sydney 2000 and London 2012 Olympic Games, the Emirates Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, as well as the Yankee Stadium in New York, the Groupama Stadium in Lyon and the Estadio Da Luz in Lisbon.
In 2021, the new Populous-designed Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle opened and is set to be the first-ever net zero carbon arena in the world.

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