Finished roof from bird's view

Silesian Stadium before refurbishment started

Start of big lift

During big lift

Pre-assembly of substructure on the pitch

Installation of pre-assembled substructure for the roofing

Polycarbonate installed

Refurbishment of the Silesian Stadium Roof

The Silesian Stadium in Chorzow near Katowice has a long history. First built in the 1950s it has been operating as a venue for football, motor sports and concerts. Since 1956 it has been declared a National Stadium of Poland.

A complex refurbishment process started in stages going back to 1996, with the aim to reach standards for the EURO 2012. Facilities and stands have been updated over continuing years. By 2007 it had been planned to top the stadium up with a newly designed roof. But the building process for the bowl had been delayed. In 2008 the new Warsaw stadium was declared National Stadium instead of this one in Silesia. Nevertheless construction of a new roof in Chorzow was started to achieve training status for the EURO 2012. Then a failure during the erection process of the roof brought the works to a standstill that took about 4 years. In 2013 the Silesian government (the owner) finally managed to tender out the refurbishment of the roof structure under a new contract. This actually meant a quite special renovation job.

The task was to take over an existing but never finished design, to examine and hopefully accept already existing supplies for the roof, to combine these with the balance of other parts and materials yet to be determined on a basis of an amended design. With all its company and personal experiences from refurbishment projects like Olympic Stadium Berlin, London Olympic Stadium (Legacy mode) and Khalifa Stadium in Qatar, PFEIFER was qualified and has tendered for the complete job. Soon after PFEIFER was appointed by the Silesian Government directly as a specialty roof contractor, with responsibility for and coordination of cable net works, repair works to the steel structure, and the polycarbonate roofing works.

In a carefully fine-tuned process, the investigation and the verification started for the cable net that had been lying on the ground for quite a long period of time. Decision was made to introduce new node points to the net since updated standards required a revised analysis anyway. The cables were inspected on site, a portion of them coiled, sent to the PFEIFER plant in Memmingen, Germany and tested there. Only a few replacement cables were required. The cable net, combined from inspected and accepted old parts and several new elements was now ready for the new works on site. A reliable erection process was proposed by the PFEIFER team, analyzed by the engineers and verified by the Silesian government. This way any interruption or failure could be eliminated and the entire cable net went up in a big lift at the end of 2015. During the erection process of the structure a different verification process happened for the existing supply parts of the future polycarbonate roofing and its substructure. Each and every part of a number of about 5,000 pieces was examined and either accepted or replaced. New parts according to the amended design for construction were purchased. An erection process was produced to facilitate as much pre-assembly work as possible to be done on the ground, for both, the substructure and the polycarbonate roofing. The works are completed with a monitoring system for the roof that measures the environmental conditions, scans the loads within selected cable members and, based on the initial structural analysis, evaluates from these sources the load history of the whole roof. The Silesian Stadium has been finalized in 2016.

It is again the pride of the people of Silesia and will serve as a venue for local football clubs, motorcycle races, concerts, international matches, and other events . For PFEIFER, this project has proven again the outstanding ability to evaluate and manage risks properly, to provide safe methods of erection within a situation of existing building and to find solutions where others failed. In a totally different environment PFEIFER is about to tackle its next refurbishment project very soon: replacing the roof on top of the Kuala Lumpur Olympic Swimming Pool.


Customer: Silesian Government
Design: gmp Architects
Engineer: sbp Schlaich Bergermann und Partner

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