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World Cup Venue One Step Closer

Exterior rendering of the Spartak Moscow Stadium
The stadium’s façade is mainly composed of overlapping 4 m by 7m diamond-shaped aluminum “shingles,” whose shape was inspired by the club’s logo. The stadium is located on a former airfield and will be joined on the site by a multipurpose arena, leisure, and retail facilities. Courtesy of Dexter Moren

The Spartak Moscow Stadium, one of the venues for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in soccer, has selected an architecture firm to complete the stadium’s façade.

October 23, 2012—Scheduled for completion in 2014, the Spartak Moscow soccer stadium is now one step closer to opening. Dexter Moren Associates, an architecture firm based in London, announced earlier this month that it had secured a contract to deliver its façade concept for the stadium. They are joined on the project by the London office of the global engineering firm Buro Happold. The design of the façade has to take into account the extreme temperature shifts and heavy snow loads of the area, as well as the fact that the stadium was already partially complete before the façade team was selected.

The superstructure of the 42,000-seat Spartak Moscow stadium was designed by the London and Moscow offices of AECOM, which provided architectural, detailed design, building engineering, and design project management services. This is the first custom-designed stadium for the Russian soccer team since 1935, according to information on AECOM’s website.

The stadium features precast concrete terracing and twin steel arch roof trusses, according to AECOM. The roof trusses distribute loads to exterior-facing columns that provide eight points of support, providing the structural integrity for the roof, which had to withstand snow loads that are over three times those associated with other stadiums around the world. The concrete and steel system was selected to create an easily buildable, economical structure that “can cope with the extremes of Moscow’s climate while maintaining an elegant aesthetic,” according to the website.

Construction began in 2010 on the superstructure, which is located atop piles and includes several concrete stair and elevator cores that the façade design had to take into account, according to Mark Wood, Dip. Arch., RIBA, an architect with Dexter Moren Associates and the company’s lead for the façade package. Wood wrote in response to written questions submitted by Civil Engineering online.

While the façade team is utilizing the existing foundation and roof designs, the façade system will have its own secondary steelwork support system and tertiary steelwork lattice that will support diamond-shaped “shingles” and their associated lighting, according to Wood.

“[Because] the superstructure for the stadium was already designed and partly built as the facade design was being undertaken, we approached the design of the secondary steelwork to be largely independent of the superstructure rather than being supported off it,” wrote Richard Press, M.Eng, C.Eng, MCIBSE, MSFE, an associate at Buro Happold and the lead of the façade engineering, in response to written questions submitted by Civil Engineering online.

 Another exterior rendering of the Spartak Moscow Stadium

London-based architecture firm Dexter Moren Associates and the
London office of engineering firm Buro Happold will be completing
the façade design for the AECOM-designed Spartak Stadium in
Moscow. The stadium is expected to open in 2014. Courtesy of
Dexter Moren

“Hence, the steelwork only relies on the main stands to provide lateral restraint; the dead load of the facade system is transferred onto angled columns—which we introduced at the façade’s base—that complement the aesthetic by following a similar architectural language to the shingles,” Press said. The façade engineering team is designing the secondary and tertiary steelwork system to be “very efficient” so as not to “exceed the load capacity restrictions of the existing pile foundations that were already in the ground,” Press said.

Each prefabricated individual aluminum panel, or shingle, contains a structural steel chassis for strength. The panels will be installed onto the main facade structure at bespoke node connection points, according to Press.

The façade is mainly clad by overlapping 4 m by 7 m diamond-shaped aluminum shingles; a number of separate glass panels will front a 56 m by 18 m digital media screen. “Temperatures in Russia are extreme and can range between negative 42 degrees Celsius in the winter to plus 38 degree Celsius in the summer,” Wood said. “Both these materials have excellent freeze/thaw resistance and react well in these temperature extremes.”

“The cladding detailing has to be carefully undertaken to minimize icicle formation and ice buildup on the façade,” Press added. “Trace heating systems are also being considered to reduce the risk of icicle formation.”

“Given the extreme climate of Moscow, the facade was conceived as a kind of ‘armor’ for the stadium,” Wood said. “There is also a happy coincidence between armor and the warrior Spartacus from whom the Spartak name is taken.

“In the same way that individual armor plates mold around the curves of the warrior’s body, the proposed lattice of diamond-shaped shingles suit the facade geometry of the stadium, which curves in two directions,” Wood said. “We were also pleased by the similarity in appearance between the facade and the onion-shaped domes of Russian orthodox cathedrals such as St. Basils in Red Square. This, we feel, gives the stadium a very Russian flavor.”

The diamond shape of the panels was also inspired by the club’s logo, according to Wood.

AECOM also created a master plan for the stadium’s site, which includes a 12,000-seat multipurpose arena as well as leisure and retail facilities. The site is located on the former Tushino airfield site, in the northwest sector of the city.

FIFA announced on September 29, 2012, the names of the 11 cities where the 64 World Cup matches will be held in 2018. They are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Saransk, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, and Ekaterinburg. Two stadiums in Moscow will host matches: the Spartak Stadium and the Luzhniki Stadium, host of the 2008 Champions League final; the remaining cities will each host matches in one stadium.

Dexter Moren Associates is currently preparing a tender package for the Spartak Stadium façade that will be completed by the end of the year, according to Wood.



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