Day 191/365 of Steel – Stade Vélodrome de Marseille

A symphony of galvanized steel

On 16 October of 2014, the Stade Vélodrome de Marseille was inaugurated.
The Velodrome stadium has undergone a major redevelopment to improve both its comfort and its seating capacity.

Stade Vélodrome de Marseille
Fig 1: Stade Vélodrome de Marseille
Photo: © icon sport

The stands are covered by a conch-shaped textile membrane stretched over a three-dimensional metal structure that reaches 65 m above the pitch. Leaving the playing area free, it covers the whole of the stands, following their volume as closely as possible, and turns over vertically to form a skirt 25m high.

Stade Vélodrome de Marseille
Fig 2: Stade Vélodrome de Marseille

The skeleton of the structure is entirely metallic, the steel being protected from corrosion by hot dip galvanizing. Its design, which favours a uniform distribution of forces and a three-dimensional lattice sheet operation, consists of a complex tangle of 5.940 bars, with diameters ranging from 300 to 500 mm, including diagonals, transverse bars and 60 radial lattice girders with a span of 80 m.

Stade Vélodrome de Marseille
Fig 3: Stade Vélodrome de Marseille

The technical feature of this structure is that it rests on only four support points: four metal “megapoles” which alone carry the 6.000 tons of the structure. Positioned at the four corners of the pitch, between the north and south and east and west stands, they are each composed of two V-shaped struts, made up of cylindrical posts with a diameter of 1.20 m and rear posts.

A row of metal posts located on the outer edge of the stadium also ensures that the lateral forces of the roof are taken up. As the structure is galvanized, no welding or cutting can be carried out on site and all connections are made using HR bolts on flanges.

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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