Technical Textiles For Sports Venues
Gera Germany Stadium: Roofs for grand stands made of Technical Textiles are a very economical solution for small stadiums
Mehler Texnologies manufactures a large variety of coated fabrics for the construction and outfitting of sports venues.
Xiamen_Stadium: A bright white roof can be a landmark in the city
Sport, music and leisure events are an essential part of our cultural and social life. Sport brings people together who, independent of their social and cultural backgrounds, want to experience an event or simply celebrate together. Therefore, it must be the goal of the organizers to give the spectators and visitors the feeling of an “experience”. Architecture, atmosphere, lighting and sound must be perfectly matched with each other in order to fulfil the public’s aspirations.
The use of technical textiles creates the best “conceptual framework” for long-term success. Three areas should be explained more thoroughly: the roofing of sports venues, temporary structures and outfitting the interiors.
Most sport events take place in stadiums or sport halls. Increasingly more technical textiles are being used along side classical building materials such as stone/concrete, steel, wood and glass in both new construction and the renovation of existing sport facilities. The advantages of technical textiles are especially apparent in roofing: they are lighter than conventional building material, completely or in a large part prefabricated by the manufacturer and are very quickly installed on-site. This not only saves time and provides confidence in the planning but also significantly reduces the construction costs.
Along with the purely technical advantages another emotional aspect comes into the picture: technical textiles create atmosphere. Roofing, which in the broadest sense have a “tent character” are perceived as protective and cosy. Thereby the organizer achieves a substantial goal: the visitors feel comfortable; and you gladly return to where you feel comfortable.
Technical textiles open new and fascinating design and expression possibilities for architects and engineers: Almost unlimited forms and dimensions ensure that textile construction has an enormous potential for the future. Areas with impressing dimensions are spanned with only a few supporting columns, roof structures are given spectacular forms and impart the impression of simplicity.
A further benefit of technical textiles lies in their combinability with other building materials, in regard to both technical and aesthetic qualities. The example of the Olympic Swimming Hall in Munich clearly shows how external steel and glass building construction and the suspended ceiling made from technical textile form a harmonious whole. Steel and glass form the space, the textile affects light and room climate.
Textiles developed by Mehler Texnologies for textile structure are the result of decades of development and experience. The two sided surface lacquering with PVDF lacquer makes it possible to evenly weld the fabric strips into large surfaces without having to grind the edges. The seams are weather tight and prevent the penetration of moisture and microbes. The chemical composition of the lacquer makes the surface dirt-repellent; the appearance of the roofing is maintained for a long time.
Further advantage of technical textiles is their reaction to tension and pressure. The flexibility of the base fabric and the coatings provide this construction material with very high tear strength and tear resistance. Specific characteristics of the material components compensate for frequent climatic changes between dry and wet or warm and cold.
Large sport, culture or leisure time events with thousands of visitors are usually held only for a limited time. Often no buildings are available or the event simply cannot be held in permanent buildings. Temporary structures such as pavilions, large tents and “tent cities” are ideal premises for banquets, large meetings and celebrations; above all if a large host of visitors are to be accommodated and supplied with refreshments.
Archery Pavilion, Yamuna Vihar Sports Complex
The requirements of temporary structures are clear: fast set-up and tear-down, variable surface area, room height and room layout; depending upon the desire of the organizer or the character of the event supplied with windows, translucent or opaque walls and ceilings. The advantages of technical textiles are also clear in this case. They are flame-resistant and therefore fulfil safety and fire regulations. Various material thicknesses and weights permit the tent manufacturer and lenders to accommodate the organizers’ individual desires. Depending upon the base fabric, textiles are translucent or opaque and provide the possibility of influencing lighting and room climate. There are also no limits as to color. White or pastel colors are mostly preferred for events. Mehler Texnologies offers a duo opaque fabric with each side having a different bright color for circus tents or other temporary structures.
Technical textiles offer varied applications for the interior outfitting of sport venues, event areas and temporary structures. Lighting and lighting effects are possible with translucent fabrics which, due to fire regulations, up to now were reserved for glass, acrylic or other hard synthetics. Mehler Texnologies fabrics such as AIRTEX inlight defuse light just as evenly as hard material; however, they only have a fraction of their material thickness and weight. Since there is no limitation on a textiles’ form (they can be spread, rolled, knotted, draped, pleated or freely hung) they open up completely new possibilities of expression to interior designers and event organizers. With rear illuminated drop ceilings and the resulting light diffusion effects, areas and events are literally seen in a new light.
D.Y.Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai
AIRTEX fabrics can be digitally printed. There are no limits on the spacious, creative design of walls and ceilings. In sport arenas catering is developing more and more from pure catering to providing a culinary experience. The use of technical textiles and digital printing can create an ambience that excites and enchants visitors by submerging them into a world especially created for them.
Today, sports venues are much more than just venues for matches. The architectural concept and the outfitting of sports venues, their surroundings and the feeling that the event visitors “take home with them” lastingly determines the Return on Investment, decides over the economic viability and the long-term success of sports venues. The use of technical textiles in architecture, outfitting and surroundings can substantially contribute to achieving your goals.
MGS Architecture September - October 2010
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