Sports complex GKS Katowice, Poland

PROJECT: Restricted competition
YEAR: 2018
LOCATION: Katowice, Poland
DESCRIPTION: Football stadium building of 15,000 seats, multi-purpose hall of 3,000 seats and 6 outdoor training football fields
CLIENT: GSK Katowice
AWARDS: Runner-up

The structure of the new GKS Katowice stadium arises from the circular configuration of the plan, generating a radial system of roof vaults. This canopy provides protection and shade to all the stands of the stadium, and covers the indoor sports court. The same structural solution is used both for the cantilevers over the stands and for the sports center area.

The roof is made up of a series of vaults, composed of a succession of tubular arches which support the top enclosure. These arches rest on radial concrete beams, which rise from the ground around the perimeter of the stadium, to support the upper part of the stands, covering the latter with a cantilever.

This system of arches was chosen searching the maximum lightness of the roof, foregoing heavy lattices or bidirectional systems. Arches allow large spans by relying solely on their shape, which emerges from the search of the appropriate guideline for the load ensemble that must be supported. Therefore, they are catenary steering axle arches whose shape is the anti-funicular of the gravitational loads which allows the distance between supports to be covered only by means of compression forces.

The main characteristic of the arcs is based on the fact that the resultant of their efforts is always tangential to their guideline, which generates a compression-only diagram. However, this beneficial characteristic for the optimization of the steel has its counterpart in the starting point of the arches as the guideline of the arch is not vertical in its base there are important horizontal forces to resist at these points. These horizontal efforts are compensated and counterbalanced among themselves at the support points thanks to the succession of arches that form the different vaults of the structure, which allow the horizontal efforts to be cancelled, transmitting only vertical efforts to the beams that support them.

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