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the city centre, with views over Lake Boyukshor, forms another prestigious landmark. Funded by the Azerbaijani government, the 68,000 capacity stadium will cater for international sports and cultural events and provide urban amenities. The development comprises festival, performing arts, concert and exhibition spaces, a health and fitness club, restaurants, office space and an information centre, as well as a shopping centre integrated into the six-storey stadium. With special covers to protect the turf, the stadium is also set to be used for spectacular concerts. “It has been designed to reflect

the youthful and energetic spirit of Azerbaijan,” says Edwards. “It is equipped with the latest in mobile connectivity, HD large screens and seating configuration to ensure every spectator enjoys a perfect, uninhibited view of all the sports as they take place around the arena.” Additionally, infrastructure has been put

in place to allow people to access and exit quickly and efficiently and link up to an extensive public transport network. The stadium is formed by five

interlocking structures, inspired by the cylindrical shape of Azerbaijan monument, the 12th century UNESCO World Heritage-listed Maiden Tower. The exterior façade resembles the burning flame, the symbol of the “Land of Fire.” Six hundred EFTE cushions cover the

roof and façade, chosen for their sound insulation properties, ease of use and attractive appearance. Thousands of LEDs light up the stadium at night. A lighting study was carried out to determine the


Situated at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, the Republic of Azerbaijan is an oil rich state, bordered by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence in October 1991 and is the first Muslim majority democratic republic and the first Muslim majority country to have operas, theatres and modern universities. It has a high rate of economic development and literacy and a low rate of unemployment, with the population of 9m split equally between urban and rural. A high level of migration

40 Spectators will benefit from the latest in mobile connectivity and large HD screens The stadium sits on the location of a former oil

refinery so extra isolation layers had to be installed on the ground before the pitch could be laid

daylight UV transmission, to optimise spectator comfort and natural turf demands. Olympic stadia are usually elliptical in shape, because of the 400m running track. Baku Olympic Stadium, however, has been designed as a perfect circle, with pure geometry.

WORLD CLASS FACILITIES Azerbaijan has yet to make much of an impact on the international football scene, but this stadium will boost its efforts, as the national football team will be the main

means population growth is lower than in the rest of the world. Football is the most popular sport, although so far the national has failed to qualify for major tournaments. Wrestling has traditionally been

regarded as Azerbaijan’s national sport, and it has won 14 Olympic medals in this sport. It is one of the leading volleyball countries in the world and the women’s Super League is one of the strongest female leagues in the world. Its national women’s team came fourth at the 2005 European Championships. Azerbaijan also has a F1 race track and will be hosting its first Grand Prix in 2016.

tenant. It meets the highest international standards for stadia set by FIFA and UEFA and will host tournaments and qualification games for the 2020 European Football Championships. Being the world’s fastest stadium build

was not allowed to impact on the quality of the project. With hopes of one day securing an Olympic Games for Azerbaijan, the stadium has been designed in accordance with track and field standards set by the International Association of Athletics Federations. The main stadium has achieved IAAF grade A status, while the warm-up area is IAAF grade B. Tekfen Construction and Installation, supported by Korea’s Heerim Architects and Planners, were awarded the design and build of the stadium. The brief also included façade cladding, ETFE lighting, interior aluminium glazed systems, constructing the complementary sports facilities and infrastructure works as well as landscaping. A tough brief for a 24-month project.

To support the accelerated schedule, an advanced modelling approach was used: the engineering team developed an automated design routine to check beam and column reinforcement against seismic code provisions. Precast reinforced concrete, main and secondary steel structures were modelled, and piled raft foundations, more typical of high rise issue 2 2015 © Cybertrek 2015

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