Award ceremony of the Structural Award in London

New roof expansion of the San Mamés stadium in Bilbao

PFEIFER Project Wins 2017 Structural Award in the Long Span Structures Category

Architectural design firm IDOM was recognized in the “Long Span Structures” category for its roof expansion of the San Mamés soccer stadium in Bilbao, Spain. The renowned prize from the Institution of Structural Engineers was officially awarded at a gala in London. PFEIFER was the general contractor, supplying the entire cable structure.

The jury was enthusiastic about the technical design. “The new roof expansion of the San Mamés stadium in Bilbao, clad with ETFE membranes, is a virtuoso example of the art of balancing tensile and compressive forces,” said the experts. The technically ambitious renovation also posed a challenge for PFEIFER for other reasons. The construction needed to be completed within just two months during the 2016 summer break. The smooth execution by PFEIFER’s project team meant that there were no game interruptions for Athletic Club, the soccer club and client.

A 75-meter span

The new construction within the existing roof opening, supported by a cable structure, spans an area of 4700 square meters and extends the cantilevered span of the original stadium roof by 13 to 23 meters, with a maximum overhang of 75 meters. While the support structure is made completely of steel, the cladding consists of light-permeable ETFE cushions. That way, there is no unnecessary shadow on the grass. However, it is also much more comfortable for attendees on rainy days.

PFEIFER did not just provide the cables and supports for the cable structure, but was also responsible for assembling the entire cable structure. “One of the greatest challenges was the tight time frame,” says project manager Ruth Brugger, who attended the award ceremony in London. “That makes our team even prouder to have taken part in a project that has now also received a Structural Award.”

Further renovations during the 2017 soccer summer break

Incidentally, PFEIFER’s cable construction team completed another, similar project this summer. Within just a few weeks, the PFEIFER employees replaced all of the membranes on the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart and revamped the existing steel construction. This renovation also took place entirely during the summer playing break.

You can see a video of the roof expansion of the San Mamés soccer stadium here.

Learn more about the Mercedes-Benz Arena renovation here.

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