Day 2/365 of Steel – Roy Hofheinz

Roy Hofheinz was born on the 10th of april 1912. As co-owner of HSA (Houston Sports Association) he was the driving force behind the construction of the famous Astrodome. The facility was opened in 1965, with the great novelty of being the first domed sports stadium in the world.

A photo of Roy Hofheinz
Fig 1: Roy Hofheinz
Photo: Unknown/uncredited photographer(s) for Associated Press

The dome of the stadium has a diameter of 216 metres and provides a maximum of 63 metres of free space above the playing field. The number of seats varied, depending on the sporting activity, between 42,217 and 62,439. A great deal of thought had to go into the selection of framing and the covering of the dome roof structure, as well as cost, aesthetics, and impact on air conditioning and air flow. There was a keen desire to have a grass field as well. No prototype existed to draw on for guidance from which to learn.

Houston Astrodome - Texas
Fig 2: Houston Astrodome – Texas

Due to problems with the indoor climate, the stadium had a bad grass surface from the beginning. Therefore, in 1966, artificial turf was laid, which was a novelty at the time. The roof structure of the Astrodome consisted of 3.000 tons of structural steel. If you want to know more about this astonishing building , check it out here.

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.

You May Also Like

Day 19/365 of Steel – The Gherkin

On the 28th of April 2004, The Gherkin was officially inaugurated. Norman Foster (architect) and Ove Arup (engineering) created a true masterpiece in skyscraper engineering. The Gherkin is an example…
Read More

Day 29/365 of Steel – Menashe Kadishman

Menashe Kadishman (21/8/1932 – 8/5/2015) I discovered Kadishman’s work during our visit to the Jewish Museum in Berlin.The Memory Void, one of the symbolic spaces on the ground level of…
Read More