Municipal Sports Stadium

This stadium was the venue for the basketball competition during the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics. With a seating capacity for 12,500 spectators, the building consists of two complementary sections, one forming the large central space while the other organises the interior and exterior access ways. The first section responds to the dimensions of the playing court and to a logical seating arrangement whereby spectators are guaranteed a good view. This section is very precise in shape, with an ellipsoidal ground plan composed of an enclosure of four curves with four centres. The second section, an intermediate space between the central part of the building and the exterior, serves as an entrance lobby and ambulatory equipped with facilities for the general public, ten lateral exits and the main entrance.
Situated beneath the seating stands are the athletes’ facilities, the press rooms, the storage areas and the equipment rooms. Communication between the different zones, the four entrances to the court and the connections with the exterior is distributed along two corridors. The radial organisation of space required the use of appropriate elements. Thus, the tiers of seats are supported by concrete bulkheads and girders that discharge the weight to the foundations, concrete being suitable for the heavy loads that the different floors have to withstand. On the other hand, the dimensional imbalance presented by the two axes, the very limited possibility of repeating modules and the technical difficulties involved in finding non-handcrafted materials had to be considered. For this reason a monodirectional framework was proposed, consisting of six large girders positioned along a longitudinal rib.
The ellipsoidal order of the ground plan allowed for simple building, rational drainage, plenty of light and, above all, the use of industrially produced materials in constructing the roof and providing atmosphere. The result is a highly precise building characterised by rapid, low cost construction.