A stadium is an outdoor athletic field used for sports training and competition, with a 400-metre running track (including a football pitch in the centre), with fixed teeth, six or more tracks and fixed stands. The stadiums are classified according to the number of spectators in the stands: Class A 25,000 or more, Class B 15,000-25,000, Class C 5,000-15,000 and Class D 5,000 or less.
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The earliest known stadium is the ancient Olympia Stadium in Greece, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. After the 11th Olympic Games in 1936, the IOC decided to use some of the money left over to continue the excavation of the Olympia site, which led to the discovery and restoration of the stadium. The stadium was surrounded by a large sloping grandstand, with an entrance for athletes and referees on the west side, and a running track of 210m in length and 32m in width, which, together with the nearby martial arts arena, the priests’ quarters, the hotel, the conference hall, the altar of the sacred fire and other rooms, formed a large complex of buildings for the games. The site now houses the Museum of Olympic Archaeology, which contains excavated artefacts, including a large number of ancient Olympic equipment and ancient Greek weapons and armour.
The first modern Olympic Games were solemnly inaugurated by King George I of Greece at 3pm on 6 April 1896. Subsequently, the Olympic Games were held every four years in national cities chosen by the International Olympic Committee, which gave rise to the construction of stadiums. Contemporary stadiums not only provide the necessary venue facilities for sporting competitions, but also reflect the social and comprehensive national power of a country, so the human and material resources spent by each country to build stadiums for the Olympic Games need not be mentioned, and the design of the stadiums is no less than a huge The design of the stadiums is a huge work of art, which brings together the design strength of the best designers in the country and truly demonstrates the advanced level of modern technology and the beauty of modern architectural design and the highly developed level of modern society. With the development of society and technology, the level of construction of stadiums is getting higher and higher. Modern stadiums are the crystallisation of architectural art, using the most advanced materials and technologies, and fully reflecting the rich imagination and creativity of modern architectural artists.
Today, Jijian Design will take you through some of the world’s best stadium designs.
National Stadium, Beijing, China
The Beijing National Stadium, located in the Olympic Park in Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, was the main venue for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and is commonly known as the ‘Bird’s Nest’ due to its unique shape. The 100,000-seat stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games, as well as athletics and football events during the Games. The seating capacity will be reduced to 80,000 after the Games. The giant stadium, designed by the 2001 Pritzker Prize winners Herzog and de Meuron in collaboration with Chinese architects Li Xinggang, is shaped like a “nest” that nurtures life, but it is also a cradle of hope for the future. The designers did not make any superfluous treatment of the national stadium, but simply left the structure exposed, thus creating the natural appearance of the building.
The design of the Bird’s Nest is humanistic, with a bowl-shaped seating area surrounding the stadium’s gathered structure and a staggered layout between the upper and lower tiers, so that spectators have a line of sight of around 140 metres from the centre of the stadium, regardless of where they are sitting. “The Bird’s Nest has a three-layer “special device”: the acoustic membrane material used for the lower layer of the membrane, the acoustic material installed on the steel structure, and the electric sound reinforcement system used in the stadium. The three layers of “special devices” have enabled the Nest to achieve a speech intelligibility index of 0.6 – a figure that ensures that the broadcast can be heard clearly from any seat in the audience. “The designers of the Bird’s Nest also used hydrodynamic design to provide the same level of natural light and ventilation to all spectators. “More than 200 wheelchair seats have been installed in the auditorium for people with disabilities. These wheelchair seats are slightly higher than the normal seats to ensure that the disabled have the same view as the general audience. Hearing aids and a wireless announcement system will also be provided to provide a personalised service for people with hearing and visual impairments.
Many experts in the field of architecture believe that the Bird’s Nest will not only be a unique and historic landmark for the 2008 Olympic Games, but will also be a groundbreaking building in the history of world architecture, providing a historical testimony to the development of architecture in China and the world in the 21st century. “The architectural design of the Bird’s Nest is designed in accordance with the appreciation habits and concepts of the Oriental people, so that it will have a direct impact on people’s vision and be intuitively accepted by the tradition-conscious Oriental people.
Berlin Olympic Stadium
The Berlin Olympic Stadium, a large sports venue in Berlin, Germany, was built on the site of the German Stadium, which was built to host the 1916 Summer Olympic Games. Both the venue and the existing building were designed by the Mach family, the former by Otto Mach and the latter by his son, Werner Mach.
When the International Olympic Committee selected Berlin as the host city for the 1916 Summer Olympic Games in 1912, the German government planned to build a new main stadium in Charlottenburg, west of Berlin, but the plans were shelved and the architect Otto Mach was hired to design the main stadium, the German Stadium. He decided to build a 40,000-seat stadium in open excavation, which would have been the largest stadium in the world at the time. However, the Olympic Games were cancelled due to the outbreak of the First World War. After the war, a specialist sports academy was built near the site of the stadium and the brothers Werner and Walter Mach, sons of Otto Mach, were appointed to design the extension to the academy, the Deutsches Sportforum, between 1926 and 1929.
When Berlin was again chosen by the International Olympic Committee as the host city for the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in 1931, the German government decided to redevelop the Deutsches Sportforum as the main stadium, and Wiener-Mach was responsible for the design. The Nazi German government built the Reichssportfeld as a complex for the Olympic Games, and Werner Mach continued to design and build the stadium, assisted by his brother Walter Mach. Werner Mach demolished the German Stadium and built the new Olympic Stadium on the same site, half of the structure being built 12 metres below ground level. The stadium has a capacity of 110,000 spectators and is connected to the Olympic Square and the Marathon Gate on the east, with an oval-shaped spectator stand opening on the west, the Mayfair and the Olympic Clock Tower. The construction of the Imperial Stadium took place between 1934 and 1936 and covered an area of 1.32 square kilometres. The stadium facilities included the Olympic Stadium, the May Square and the Forest Theatre (Berliner Waldbühne), as well as 150 ancillary buildings for different sports. The May Square, built on the western side of the Olympic Stadium, is a 112,000 square metre lawn area for large-scale gymnastic events with a capacity of 250,000 people (with an additional 60,000 people on the western side), as well as the Olympic Clock Tower and the Langemark Hall. High-quality stone from the Alpine lowlands was used to build the wall of the square and the sculpture of a warrior with a horse (by German sculptor Josef Wackerle), which is displayed outside the stadium.
The absolute high level of design in the Berlin Olympic Stadium must be the design of its roof. The roof cost approximately 26 million euros, with 11% of the total construction cost being spent on its construction. The roof is made up of two reinforced steel sheets, each with an area of 31,000 square metres. The upper sheet consists of 76 sections with a total of 1,158 pieces of glass, each weighing 200 kg, which form the final component of this roof. This roof itself is protected by 20 layers of construction. The stadium is lit by 312 high-pressure lights, each with 2,000 watts, or 1,500 lux (lighting units), and the lighting is designed so that there are no harsh angles of light in the stadium. The 5,000 lights on top of the stadium make the whole field look like a halo. The 19 high-powered loudspeakers on the roof provide high-quality acoustics for the spectators.
The Allianz Arena in Munich is the glory of Munich and indeed of Germany, with its elaborate structure and magnificent appearance. The Allianz Arena was chosen as the venue for the opening ceremony of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The 66,000-seat stadium was officially opened on 30 and 31 May 2005 and was jointly financed by Munich 1860 and Germany’s most successful club, Bayern Munich. The stadium’s capacity was initially 66,000, but was expanded to 71,000 in August 2012; (lower stand: 20,000 seats, middle stand: 24,000 seats, upper stand: 22,000 seats. The 7000 seats at the corner of the north and south stands can be turned into standing seats. There are approximately 200 seats for the disabled. 2200 business seats. 106 boxes with a capacity of approximately 1374 seats. 11000 car parking spaces, of which approximately 1200 are in the stadium).
The Allianz Arena is the most modern stadium in Europe. When Bayern Munich play at home, the 71,000-capacity stadium will be a glowing red body mapped by a lighting system that can be seen for miles. Designed by Swiss designers Jacques Herzog and Pierre Meuron. The facade is made up of 2,874 air cushions, of which 1,056 can glow during the game. When the teams playing in the stadium change, the colour of the wall can change with them and the wonders will be far greater than can be imagined. The people of Munich love the stadium so much that they affectionately refer to it as a “safety belt” or “rubber boat”.
From a distance, the Allianz Arena looks like a giant rubber boat, with a number of airbag-like structures wrapped around a white oval body that is both modern and visually striking. Its unusual surface is made up of 2,874 diamond-shaped membrane structures that are self-cleaning, fireproof, waterproof and insulated. Each membrane structure can be illuminated at night in red, blue and white, corresponding to the colours of the Bayern, Munich 1860 and German national team uniforms. The people of Munich love the stadium and affectionately refer to it as the “seat belt”. Even if you don’t watch the match previews, you can tell which team is playing and even if the home team is winning by standing where you can see the Allianz Arena. Its secret is all in the outer wall, which is made up of 2,874 plastic air cushions. To allow enough light inside the stadium, the air cushions on the sunny side of the stadium are transparent and the rest is translucent. During the day, the whole stadium looks like a white lifebelt, reflecting the sun’s rays. At night, the “lifebelt” is transformed into a large jewel: beams of light will be shone on the stadium shell, creating a huge luminous body. If it is Bayern playing at home, it will glow red; if it is Munich 1860 playing, it will glow blue. The lights and colours support various effect morphs, and the football-loving Germans have also proposed that 1,056 of the glowing plastic air cushion exterior lights be intensified when the home team scores a goal, so that from a distance you can tell that the home team has scored. The design of the Allianz Stadium represents an innovation in the definition of a football stadium. It was designed by the Swiss architects Herzog and Meulon. The smooth exterior, with its diamond-shaped translucent shell and multiple colour projections, gives the whole building an almost magical mood. Inside the stadium there are three terraces with a capacity of 66,000 spectators. This ensures that spectators can watch the games up close and personal, ensuring that the desired level of participation is achieved and the comfort of a modern stadium is guaranteed.
May Day Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea
May Day Stadium, originally known as Ayala Island Stadium, is located on Ayala Island, the scenic Datong River in Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea. Completed on 1 May 1989, the May Day Stadium in North Korea became the world’s largest stadium after the renovation of the Maracana Stadium in Brazil in 2011.
The world’s most mysterious stadium, the May Day Stadium, was completed on May 1, 1989. With a total floor area of over 207,000 square metres and a capacity of 145,000 spectators, the stadium is a comprehensive sports and cultural base capable of playing various games such as football matches. The plastic running track has an area of 14,000 square metres and the grass has an area of more than 8,300 square metres. The stadium has a long axis of 450 metres and a short axis of 350 metres. The stadium has eight floors and more than 1,300 rooms. The stadium has a parachute-shaped roof, consisting of eaves and a large semi-circular sloping arch, which is a unique architectural form. The roof, formed by 16 semi-circular spans, has a surface area of more than 94,000 square metres, and the eaves of the grandstand are 60 metres long, while the eaves outside the stadium are 40 metres long. The construction of the stadium eaves alone used 11,000 tonnes of steel. It is described online as the most mysterious stadium in the world. The spectator capacity is 145,000 people. Many important events have been held here and it has become a witness to history.
The stadium has a parachute shape, with 16 semi-circular spans forming the roof, and the unique design has won international awards for new technological inventions. The stadium has a floor space of 207,000 square metres and a spectator capacity of 150,000. The stadium has a surface area of 25,000 square metres, with 80 entrances and exits for easy and rapid evacuation of the population in the event of a war of aggression. The plastic running track covers 14,000 square metres and the turf area is more than 8,300 square metres. The stadium has a long axis of 450 metres and a short axis of 350 metres. The stadium has 8 floors with more than 1,300 rooms, a training ground, a swimming pool, an ultrasound bath, a sweat bath, rest beds, a fatigue recovery room, a sports science research room and more than 10 lifts.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies and the home of the athletics competition. The stadium was also the main stadium for the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games and is the only stadium in the world to have served as the main venue for both Olympic Games. 1982 saw a $5 million refurbishment by the Atlantic Lechfeldt colour company, which replaced seats with seats, added 175 elaborate boxes for heads of state and laid a German-made plastic track. With a capacity of 9,2604, the stadium is one of the largest in the world.
The stadium has also hosted two Super Cup finals (1967 and 1973). The stadium was designated a National Historic Landmark on 27 July 1984, the day after the opening of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. It is now owned by the State of California and managed by the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission.
The Los Angeles Memorial Stadium has a green turf field in the centre and a light beige ground at either end. There are 90 entrances and 74 turnstiles. The huge Olympic Flame Tower is mounted above the stadium’s east colonnade, 45.72 metres above ground level. It is surmounted by a colourful electronic scoreboard worth US$160,000, 9.1 metres high and 14.6 metres wide.
Athens Olympic Stadium
The Athens Olympic Stadium (Greek: Ολυμπιακό Στάδιο Αθήνας), part of the Olympic Sports Centre in Athens, was the main stadium for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.
The Olympic Stadium of Athens is a multi-purpose stadium complex located in the northern suburb of Maroussi, Athens, Greece. The stadium features a 105m x 68m standard football pitch, a nine-lane 400m circular running track, and various facilities for field events. The stadium currently has 69,618 seats for spectators, 480 seats for the media and more than 10 VIP boxes, and the Olympic Stadium in Athens was designed in 1979 and construction began in 1980. The stadium was first opened in 1982 for the 13th European Athletics Championships. Following Athens’ successful bid to host the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, it was decided that the Olympic Stadium would be renovated and used as the main stadium for that Games. The overall work of the Athens Organising Committee was slow and the renovation of the Olympic Stadium did not begin until 2000. The stadium was officially opened on 30 July 2004, but all the work was actually officially completed on 5 August 2004, just eight days before the start of the Olympic Games in Athens. The refurbishment was carried out using a design by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the highlight of which is the elaborate roof, which covers 25,000 square metres and weighs 18,700 tonnes, covering the vast majority of the stadium’s seating capacity. The users are Panathinaikos Football Club, Olympiacos Football Club, AEK Athens Football Club, the Greek national football team and the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.
This magnificent yet elegant masterpiece, designed by the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, already holds three world records. Not only is it the largest open-air stadium roof in the world, it is also the largest transparent roof to date, and it is the largest to have been installed after the stadium was completed. The roof is made of tough, highly transparent moulded clone plastic sheets. Moclonal is a polycarbonate material from the Bayer Material Innovation Group. This blue, glossy roof gives the stadium a friendly, open, bright and cheerful atmosphere. Looking upwards, the spectators can see the Greek summer sky. The roof is a dynamic suspended structure. Its main feature is the two metal arched gates. Each door is 300 metres long and 78 metres high at its apex. The two arches span vertically above the stadium, each supporting a circular roof. The roof is suspended in the air by the support of the twin arches. The roof weighs a total of 17,000 tonnes and covers an area of 25,000 square metres, providing protection from the sun and rain for 75,000 spectators.
Stade De France
The Stade de France, located in Saint-Denis on the outskirts of Paris, France, is a large multi-purpose sports venue with a capacity of 80,000 spectators. The stadium was built for the 1998 World Cup football tournament and was the venue for the 1998 World Cup final, which France won for the first time on home soil on 12 July 1998, beating Brazil 3-0 in the World Cup final, and hosting the World Athletics Championships in 2003.
The Stade de France, built in the French suburb of Saint-Denis to host the 1998 World Cup, cost US$466 million and was the most expensive stadium in the world. France defeated Brazil in the final. The stadium has a capacity of 80,000 spectators and the total weight of the steel framework used for its huge roof is equivalent to that of the Eiffel Tower, but the supports used are mostly unnoticeable. Since its inauguration, the Stade de France has been used as the home of the French national football team for matches such as World Cup outings and European Cup of Nations outings, and in 2006 for the final of the UEFA Champions League, but the stadium has not been used as the home of a French First Division club. Paris’ main club, Paris Saint-Germain, uses the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris as its home ground.