Membrane Architecture Membrane Structures for Stadiums

Editor: Gabriele Ilg

When building stadiums, planners are increasingly taking advantage of the benefits offered by membrane architecture, enabling the creation of new and modern forms. Two well-known examples are the Olympic Stadium in Berlin and the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town.

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(Logo: Dyneon)
(Logo: Dyneon)

The framework conditions for the new roof of the Olympic Stadium in Berlin placed considerable demands on the architects, as the roof had to remain within the footprint of the existing grandstand structure, which is listed as a building of major historic interest. At the same time, supports and masts should restrict the view of the spectators as little as possible. More difficult still: the new roof had to be installed without the need to cease operation of the stadium. A light steel cantilever arm construction was selected for the roofing around the circumference of the stands, with an opening above the historic Marathon Gate. This also means that the line of sight to the green of the Maifeld and to the bell tower – so important to the conservationists – is preserved. 132 external supports and 20 slim boom supports in the upper stand area, with a diameter of 250 mm at their base, bear the majority of the weight of the steel structure of the apparently "floating" roof. The company Hightex GmbH in Rimsting – a specialist in the area of textile architecture – covered the upper side of the support structure with 27.000 m² of woven glass fiber membrane distributed over 77 individual sectors. The membrane structure consists of woven glass fiber fabric coated with Dyneon PTFE and Dyneon fluorothermoplastic, which exhibits tensile strength of up to several tonnes per square meter whilst weighing only one to one and a half kilograms per square meter.