Poland, Chorzów 

Slaski Stadium

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Competition 2008 - 1st prize
Design Volkwin Marg with Marek Nowak
Partner Christian Hoffmann
Project leader Marek Nowak
Staff (design) Heiko Faber, Christoph Salentin, Roman Hepp, Sebastian Möller
Staff (execution) Monika Kaesler, Sebastian Möller, Christoph Salentin, Remigiusz Kowalczyk
Cooperation with RS Architekci, Sosnowiec
Structural concept and design roof schlaich bergermann and partner - Knut Göppert with Roman Kemmler
Structural engineering PL-Projekt Planungsbüro GmbH
Technical equipment POLCON Ingenieure, Warszawa
Landscape design Biuro Limba, Gliwice
Project management Inwestprojekt/Promis S.A., Kattowice
General contractor Hochtief Polska
Client Urzad Marszalkowski - Województwa Slaskiego  
Tiers 2 Ränge
Seats 54.800
VIP-boxes 19
Business seats 1.700
Places for wheelchair users 104
Places for press 750
Length of the stadium axial 332 m
Width of the stadium axial 273 m
Height of the stadium 49 m

 

Photographers:

Heiner Leiska

www.leiska.de

The Slaski Stadium began life in 1951 as a project for a "Silesian National Stadium" in what was at the time Europe's biggest urban culture and leisure park, at Chorzow near Katowice, in the Voivodship of Silesia. The project was led by architect Julian Brzuchowski and engineer Viktor Pade. Poland's biggest stadium, it opened on 22 July 1956 with an international friendly between Poland and East Germany, though it was not officially designated the Polish national stadium by the Polish Football Association until 1993. Up to 100,000 spectators at a time followed the fortunes of the national football team and the events of the world speedway championships here, a special dirt track being installed for the latter in 1972.

Once Poland was selected along with Ukraine to co-host the 2012 European Football Championships, it was decided to rebuild the Slaski Stadium as a modern venue conforming with international standards. The existing facilities in the main east stand with a conference room and multifunctional rooms for 500 people and a 70-bed hotel have been retained in the rebuilding scheme. Although the Slaski Stadium was only earmarked as a standby stadium for the 2012 championships, the Voivodship of Silesia nonetheless proceeded to competition stage, opting to go ahead with an extensive rebuild of the stadium on the basis of the design scheme submitted by gmp Aachen.

Set in the park landscape of the culture & leisure park in Chorzow, the rampart of the west stand of the historic stadium rises from its surroundings tangentially. Despite the decision to raise the capacity of the stadium from 47,000 to 55,000 seats with the construction of an additional upper-tier stand on the west side, thereby changing the geometry of the undulating lower-tier stand, the design retains the typical features of a rampart arena [Erdwall] with access via ramps and flights of steps.

The existing stadium was not only a venue for football matches and rock concerts but also hosted the world speedway championships. This function will in future be discontinued in favor of using the stadium for athletics events instead. With the installation of an athletics track and improvement of additional training facilities for field and track sports around the stadium, a stadium of international rank will be created.

Originally, only 300 of the 47,000 seats were under cover. In conformity with UEFA regulations therefore, it was necessary to roof over the entire seating area. However, this did not involve sacrificing the basically open-air nature of the existing stadium. As the static load of the existing stand structures rules out a new stadium roof, the design envisages a filigree cable structure which can be erected largely independently of the existing structure.

Following the principle of a bicycle wheel with an upper and lower external steel compression ring and a number of stays at the inner edge of the roof, the cable structure will be erected at the required height of 37m above the pitch with the aid of 40 fixed reinforced concrete supports. Inevitably, the combination of new and old stand structures with different basic geometry will produce a heterogeneous result, but this will be overcome and a homogeneous-looking overall arena produced by means of the oval roof structure. At 43,000m2, it will be the largest stadium roof in Europe, provided with a translucent polycarbonate cover.

UEFA's subsequent decision not to use the Slaski Stadium as a venue for the 2012 championships has not diminished the enthusiasm of those involved in planning and constructing it in the least. With the completion of the stadium in 2011, the province of Silesia will gain a new sports venue that conforms with all the requirements for international events while at the same time involving the historical structure of the Slaski Stadium in the scheme.