Architecture People & Places


National Stadium by gmp in Warsaw, Poland

The new National Stadium, in Warsaw, Poland, designed by gmp. Photo: © Marcus Bredt, Berlin  
During the “World Stadium Congress 2012” in Doha, Quatar on 4 June 2012, entries were selected for the “World Stadium Congress Awards”. Warsaw’s National Stadium prevailed against international competition and won the prize in two of five categories:
  • best multifunctional stadium design
  • most innovative use of technology in stadium design.
On the occasion of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, the National Stadium in Warsaw, which was designed by architects Volkwin Marg and Hubert Nienhoff with Markus Pfisterervon Gerkan, Marg and Partners, was reconstructed on top of the existing – but since 1988 no longer used and dilapidated – earth wall stadium (Stadion Dziesieciolecia), and re-opened in January of this year.

The stadium’s construction consists of two succinct parts – the grandstand built of pre-fabricated concrete components and the steel wire net roof with a textile membrane suspended from freestanding steel supports with inclined tie rods above this. The interior roof consists of a retractable membrane sail which folds together above the centre of the pitch. This is also where the four-screen “video cube” is installed so as to provide an optimum view from all seats. The top tier is accessed via 12 arch-shaped, single-flight staircases. The exterior façade consists of anodized expanded metal that provides another envelope for the actual thermal shell of the interior areas and access steps. The panels with their red and bright silver colour scheme appear either closed or transparent, depending on the light angle, and from a distance evoke the image of an artistic composition in white and red, the country’s national colours.

The stadium has been designed as a multifunctional events centre and, with its approx. 20,000 sqm of lettable office and conference facilities, comprises a comparatively high proportion of floor space which can be used independently of the stadium operation. These spaces are available for all types of events and include the necessary support facilities.
Today, the opening match of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship will take place at the Polish National Stadium in Warsaw.

Project Credits

  • Design: Volkwin Marg and Hubert Nienhoff with Markus Pfisterer
  • Project Management: Markus Pfisterer, Martin Hakiel
  • Project Management (roof): Martin Glass
  • In cooperation with: J.S.K. Architekci Sp. z o.o. and schlaich bergermann und partner
  • Structural design of roof: schlaich bergermann and partners – Knut Göppert with Knut Stockhusen and Lorenz Haspel
  • M&E Engineering: HTW, Hetzel, Tor-Westen + Partner, Biuro Projektów "DOMAR"
  • Landscape Design: RAK, Architectura Krajobrazu, Warsaw
  • General Contractor: Konsorcjum ALPINE BAU DEUTSCHLAND AG, ALPINE BAU GmbH, ALPINE Construction Polska Sp. z o.o., HYDROBUDOWA POLSKA S.A. i PBG S.A.
  • Client: Narodowe Centrum Sportu Sp. z o.o.
Update, 2012.0628: The Associated Press published an article about the National Stadium that discusses its impact on the historically significant Saska Kepa area of Warsaw. The neighborhood is reportedly one of few areas in Warsaw to largely survive the ravages of World War II, and the stadium is apparently seen by some as the latest in a series of modifications to threaten Saska Kepa. --Editor

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