CLIENT Albstar shpk, Tirana
ARCHITECTURE Archea Associati
STRUCTURE aei progetti
MEP Studio TI, TFE Ingegneria
DESIGN 2016-2018
SEATS 22.000
PHOTOS Pietro Savorelli

The new Albanian national stadium is a multifunctional building conceived as a mechanism capable of perfectly ‘working‘, ensuring in every circumstance the total separation of flow and activity, so that the coexistence and simultaneity of events is always guaranteed and safe in every situation. Therefore, its layout plan must be clear, the accesses easily identifiable, outflows rapid and, therefore, entrances and exits must be well distributed and distinguishable from the entrances of the other private activities involved. Then the solution chosen for the structure of the stadium structure, a peculiar multi-faceted form (an 8-faceted rectangle), allows access to distinct functions at each side. Each face hosts different streams, thus identifying users of private areas, such as the hotel tower, shopping areas and stadium spectators.

Internally, the new stadium of Tirana has a very original structure inspired by the forms of the Roman Theatre, where the tiers constitute the cavea and the fourth side of the hotel represents the great frons scenae. The “theatrical scene” hosts a small VIP grandstand, limited to 1,500 spectators, surmounted by a large longitudinal piece of glazing revealing a sequence of exclusive Sky-Boxes, intended for a selected audience with the stand for the Authorities and that of the Press at the centre, according to the quantities and places indicated by UEFA rules. This unusual configuration, in addition to giving the space a particular “theatricality”, allows the stadium to be used even for large concerts, offering the possibility of installing a big stage close to this long wall that forms its natural backdrop.

From a structural point of view the entire complex is divided into 5 independent blocks in elevation while the foundations constitute a single “body” in order to better manage the great variability of soil’s mechanical characteristics. The elevation of all the structural blocks is characterized by the presence of floors made with reinforced concrete slabs, of hollow circular section steel pillars, with a diameter of 508 mm and variable thickness, depending on the stresses, and of stair-lift cores in reinforced concrete, able to offer resistance to horizontal actions, also of seismic origin, together with the sloping beams of the lower tiers, which, due to their conformation, represent, in fact, a bracing system. The coverage of the stadium and the large wall of the west block, where the vip stands and the hospitality are placed, are, instead, designed completely in steel to allow light structures to be obtained, prefabricated in the workshop and installed in large portions and , therefore, relatively quickly.

The very complex geometries and the strong integration between the various disciplines, such as structures, architecture, plants and special systems have made the use of advanced BIM software necessary, while the design of steel structures has been developed with software capable of communicating with the CNC numerical control cutting machinery, which was equipped with the production workshop. This circumstance has allowed us to carry out the entire production process at the highest levels of quality and speed.
The construction of the entire building in 24 months required the excavation of approximately 140,000 cum of soil, the execution of 25,000 cum of cast in place concrete for the foundations, 27,000 cum for the horizontal sections, 18,000 cum for the structures in elevation (of which 6,000 cum are high strength concretes), about 10,000 tons of steel rebars and, finally, about 180,000 square meters of formwork with a fare face finishing.
For metal structures in total, approximately 6500 tons of steel were produced and installed in 17 months, involving 95 exceptional transports and truck cranes up to 600 tons capacity.