In 1955, Eugène Claudius-Petit, the local Mayor and former minister, commissioned Le Corbusier to design a municipal stadium adjoining the Maison de la Culture for the new neighbourhood of Firminy-Vert. Le Corbusier only designed very few sports facilities during his career, viz., the municipal stadium in Firminy and a gymnasium in Baghdad (Iraq).
The commission for a sports facility, and the stadium’s dimensions and capacities (more than 4,000 seats and a 400 metres athletics track), bear witness to the city’s ambitious modernisation policy applied from the 1950s.
When the architect died in 1965, the stadium was not yet built: construction work took place from 1966 to 1969 under the direction of André Wogenscky.
In accordance with Le Corbusier’s plans, the sports ground is sited in the Les Razes former sandstone quarry. The stands, under which the changing rooms are located, are placed against the embankment and take inspiration from the tiered seating of ancient amphitheatres. This construction is covered by a suspended overhanging sun-shield ”cap” – a piece of technical prowess with reinforced concrete.
Restoration of the stadium started in 2014.
Firminy’s municipal stadium, which is France’s only sports ground listed as a Historic Monument, is still used by the local people.