Stadiums are fascinating constructions to be involved with – as the end goal of the project is to set the scene for elite sport and unparalleled entertainment with cutting-edge architecture, top athletes and thousand strong crowds.
From the Colosseum to the most modern Olympic venue, large stadiums are iconic and celebrated buildings, lauded by their constructors as totemic national emblems. And the interest they attract is evident from the continuous news stories on ever bigger, better, more sophisticated and more expensive stadium projects.
Qatar recently announced designs for the Al Wakrah Stadium, the first of several new stadiums that would host matches during the 2022 Football World Cup. The 40,000 seat venue attracted a lot of attention, as it would not only have to cope with the large audiences and logistics of a major sporting event but also the hot temperatures of the Middle East.
The form of the structure has been designed with protection from the sun in mind, with a curved roof to shield players and spectators from direct sunlight, which can lead to temperatures above 50 degrees. Mechanical air-conditioning and passive design principles will be used to keep the heat below 30.
Flowcrete Middle East has often encountered the need to deliver aesthetic and functional floors that are able to cope with the heat of a desert sun. In the UAE the high UV resistance of Flowcrete products was a key factor in the specification of our solutions in the 25,000 seat Dubai Cricket Stadium and the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium at Zayed Sports City. In Australia the Telstra Stadium chose Deckshield as a topcoat during a refurbishment largely because of its flexibility, waterproof properties and UV resistance.
The prestigious, 60,000 seat King Abdullah Sports City stadium, due to open soon, also identified Flowcrete as the perfect partner to counter the high levels of UV the building would have to withstand.
Another iconic stadium in the news recently was Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, as extension plans were announced that would add 14,500 extra seats to the venue. When it was originally transformed from the City of Manchester Stadium into a football venue after the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Flowcrete UK installed over 20,000m² of heavy-duty floor coating Flowcoat SF41 in concourse areas.
The large numbers of people that visit stadiums means that the floor has to be able to withstand significant and continuous trafficking. The floor for the City of Manchester Stadium for example has to regularly cope with nearly 50,000 people walking across it when it’s currently at capacity.
However this level of traffic pales in comparison to the 90,000 people that Wembley can hold. To ensure the floor was up to the task Flowcrete provided the entire Floorzone Solution for the national stadium, which included everything from self-smoothing sub floor screeds, damp proof membranes, waterproof decking, stair nosings and decorative resin finishes. Combining functionality with appearance was a key concern for this stadium which is often at the centre of world attention during high profile events.
To illustrate the large numbers and statistics of stadium projects Flowcrete TV created this video about Australia’s largest stadiums. Tell us which stadium or sporting venue in the world is your favourite and why in the comments below. Is there one that particularly stands out because of the architecture, sporting history or a personal experience that you associate with the building?