• National Stadium Warsaw
    © Marcus Bredt

National Stadium Warsaw

Warsaw, Poland, 2011

Due to its multifunctional orientation, the National Stadium Warsaw in Poland continues to be a venue for events throughout the year, even after the UEFA European Football Championship 2012. The stadium features a complex and elegant cable roof structure that can withstand all weather conditions. The firm roof is supported by a ring cable construction, which maintains its stability by means of supports, a single compression ring and the anchoring of the diagonal pillars in the foundations. The construction is complemented by a central needle, floating in the centre above the pitch, and 60 radial spoke cables, which act as load-bearing members for the operable inner roof that folds up towards the centre. A translucent membrane with a surface area of 8,400 m² is guided along these cables and gathered at the centre with a double fold. The stadium roof can be completely closed within 17 minutes. The long travel distances are covered by the employment of cable winches, while the short tensioning distances, which serve to pre-stress the membrane, are supported by hydraulic cylinders. In terms of the structural design, the needle serves as a compression brace, as a holder to fasten the four large video screens, and as a substructure for the vertically movable garage in which the gathered membrane is parked to protect it against the weather. Visible from far away, the needle sets an architectural statement that refers to the logics of structural design in the entire building.

  • Location

    Warsaw, Poland

  • Architect

    gmp · Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner; JSK Architekci sp. z o.o.; schlaich bergermann partner

  • Awards

    World Stadium Awards 2012, Ingenieurbau-Preis 2012, Ingenieurpreis des Deutschen Stahlbaues 2013, IOC/IAKS Award 2013

  • Client

    Narodowe Centrum Sportu Sp. z o.o.

  • Our Scope of Work

    conceptual design, construction design, technical spots check, site supervision

Moveable Inner Roof Structure

Achieved for first time in stadium history, the all-weather moveable membrane of the retractable roof is mechanically operated and hydraulically stressed, and it slides in a tangential direction to punctually fix itself at the unobstructed radial cables, ensuring a safe and redundant driving mechanism throughout the seventeen minutes of deployment that is required for it to meet the main roof and seal the stadium. 




© Marcus Bredt

Technical Details

The retractable part of the roof is built from 9800 m² PVC-coated polyester membrane. The flexible membrane spans in tangential direction between polyester belts, which run parallel to the upper 60 cables. At specific points these belts are punctually fixed to the sliding carriages and through those to the radial cables. Due to the minimized layout of the cable structure of the retractable roof, for the first time ever in roofs of such dimensions center hole sliding carriages could be developed. The fact that the carriages can slide along the radial cables without any obstacle leads to a safe and redundant driving mechanism.

To learn more about this project, download our iBook or visit our Microsite about moveables structures (National Stadium Warsaw: Chapter 2)


moveables structures

  • Length x width 310 m x 280 m
  • Fixed membrane roof area 54,000 m²
  • Retractable roof area 11,000 m²
  • Roof depth 85 m
  • Glass roof area 4,000 m²
  • Seats 55,000
  • National Stadium Warsaw © Marcus Bredt
  • National Stadium Warsaw © Marcus Bredt

Project location

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