The new Letzigrund stadium, where the annual athletics meeting is held, is conceived as a combination of a football and an athletics stadium and is also suitable for the staging of other large events.
The football field is eccentrically situated within the athletics courses in such a manner that the ideal geometry of the surrounding oval grandstand is slightly distorted. Further differentiations arise due to the additional utilisations, which are distributed diversely on the ground floor zone: While the platform area of the stadium is reduced to a narrow strip in the area of the Badenerstrasse, Herdernstrasse and Baslerstrasse, which results in a pronounced overhang of the grandstand structure, the layer becomes larger on the northwestern side, where the main usages, which attract large amounts of people, are concentrated – a restaurant with a conference centre and a gym, which can also be used as a press centre. In addition there are special rooms for the different operators – as well as cloakrooms, showers, training facilities and massage rooms on the basement floor. An important feature is the highly flexible usage, according to the type of event.
The floating, funnel-shaped volume of the stadium body is made up of a voluminous steel support structure. Partitions follow the geometry of the running course and are fixed on the outside with bracings. The braced girder, composed of four parts, is buckled three times following a standard pattern. The first element is the protruding grandstand support, the second one constitutes the grandstand wreath, the third one forms the protruding roof, while the fourth holds the lighting wreath. Grid wire meshwork covers the bracing outer sides of the grandstand construction producing the effect of a bodylike volume depending upon the viewing angle.
The main entries are to be found in the east and the south, i.e. at the corners of the allotment designed as forecourts; the grandstand with its extreme overhang, is a welcoming gesture.
The stadium surround, which includes two further sports fields in the northeast, can be also be differentiated spatially using fences, in such a manner that the utilisations can be adapted to the respective type of event.
Text: Hubertus Adam