Grandstand al jazeera Sporting Club

competition by invitation

Abu Dhabi, E.A.U. - 2001

The inspiration comes from the image of a giant bird with spread wings.
Its relation with the landscape, with the deep surrounding horizons, is one of the most important aspects of the project. The structure rests on the ground lightly, relegating to the volumetric effect achieved through the roofing, the role of impressing its image upon the surrounding landscape. The shape of the roofing “wings” emphasizes the volume’s lightness and gives it a sense of movement. Technology as a tool rather than a means of expression seems fundamental to the project’s philosophy of sustainable technology, which sees organicity as the key to designing automated buildings that can offer radical solutions to problems like energy conservation and environmental pollution.

The quest for simplicity, fast-assembly and economic viability has led to the use of developed technology based around materials like steel and light-weight alloys. The use of semi-manufactured industrial products brings closely architecture and engineering and breaks down the hierarchical barriers between technology and aesthetics. High-tech materials with exceptional properties sweeps architecture towards structurally spectacular new heights.
The composition mainly plays on the horizontal-vertical relations between the grandstand and its roofing, exploiting the notable contrast between the enormity of the stand (made of decorative concrete) and the structural simplicity of the cantilever roof.

The roofing has been designed thinking of aeronautical technologies. A steel structure totally covered with aluminum sheets will ultimately look like airplane wings.
The roofing is connected to a slightly curved building behind the grandstand and is “protected” by a curved wall, larger than the building, embracing the grandstand. The building is externally covered with metal striped plates and has a giant c-shaped glass “cut” which connects the inside and the outside.
The building actually contains a dense network of

paths, corridors, intersecting aisles and lifts that can conformably handle the comings and goings of the crowd together with all utilities for the spectators, the players, the VIP and VVIP. A light weight glass and steel box, suspended from the roof, hosts the VVIP seats.
The shape of the roof is designed for the double function of offering repair and shade to the stand and, at the same time, allowing the light to come inside and illuminate the field. From above, it becomes a fascinating image that evokes a bird landing on the ground.

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