“When Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and other world football players appeared in the stadium we designed and built, and offered a wonderful green feast to the world’s fans, my heart was filled with pride.” On the evening of November 20, Beijing time, when the Qatar World Cup was unveiled, Zhu Zhongyi, a national engineering survey and design master and chief engineer of Beijing Architectural Design and Research Institute Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “BIDI”), was filled with emotion.
Russell Stadium is the largest stadium in this World Cup and will witness the ultimate ownership of the World Cup. Beijing Academy of Construction has undertaken the design of the steel structure of the stadium and the large-span cable membrane structure of the roof, which is the first time that Chinese enterprises have undertaken the structural design of the main stadium of the World Cup. Zhu Zhongyi, the design director of Russell Stadium, said: “We can enter the world’s most important sports event, challenge and complete the super project, demonstrating the strength of Chinese design, which is of great significance.”
The structure breaks through Beijing technology to support super projects
The Lussel Stadium is located in the Lussel New District, 15 kilometers north of Doha, the capital of Qatar. The design inspiration is derived from the traditional Arabic enamel light grid pattern. The overall shape is like a golden bowl filled with dates. The facade of the curtain wall changes in an arc from top to bottom.
“This landmark sports building is not only unique in shape, but also the largest professional venue built overseas by China so far. It can accommodate more than 92000 spectators, representing the highest standard of World Cup venue construction.” Zhu Zhongyi said.
The buildings with great impact bring visual enjoyment to the world, but also pose a great challenge to the structural design. The roof of Russell Stadium adopts large-span flexible cable net structure and steel structure. “The combination of rigidity and flexibility” creates a safe and efficient “skeleton” for this grand desert building.
In 2016, Zhu Zhongyi designed the cable net structure of the “Tianyan” (500m aperture spherical radio telescope). He believed that this structure has the characteristics of high stress efficiency, simple layout, etc. The cable can be transported to the site after being manufactured in the factory and lifted to the designated position, eliminating the welding link, achieving green construction and ensuring the project quality.
The roof of Russell Stadium is saddle shaped, with a span of 278 meters and a roof height of 76.6 meters. “This cable net roof has the largest span and the largest cantilever distance among the cable net systems of the same type, and its structure is no less complex than the ‘Tianyan’.” Zhu Zhongyi introduced that Professor Dong Shilin, an academician of the CAE Member and a space structure expert, evaluated it as the most complex cable membrane structure in the world.
Neither previous technology nor experience can solve the complex structural problems of the Russell Stadium. Zhu Zhongyi led the design team of Beijing Institute of Construction to tackle key technical problems. Through unremitting efforts, he finally innovated and developed a series of new technologies, solved the problems of complex cable net design, and supported the super project of the World Cup main stadium.
Legend has it that great craftsmen have achieved sports landmarks
“Behind the conquering of the complex structure of the world’s top stadiums is the accumulation of technology and continuous innovation.” Zhu Zhongyi said that as early as the 1950s, the older generation of designers of Beijing Construction Institute used the spoke suspension structure in the roof design of Beijing Workers’ Gymnasium, with a span of 94 meters. This technology was advanced in the world at that time. The National Speed Skating Gymnasium of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games adopts a hyperbolic saddle shaped single-layer cable net structure roof, becoming the largest single-layer two-way orthogonal saddle shaped cable net roof stadium in the world, greatly reducing the amount of steel used in the project.
Founded in 1949, the Beijing Institute of Architecture where Zhu Zhongyi lives is the first civil architecture design enterprise in New China. Generations of designers have inherited the spirit of “great country craftsman”, accumulated and accumulated advanced technology through designing landmark buildings such as the Great Hall of the People, the two major airports in the capital, and the National Grand Theater, forging the ability to solve large and complex projects, and assisted the construction of large country projects with hard scientific and technological strength.
In particular, with the development of China’s sports industry, Beijing Academy of Construction has successively designed four generations of new China’s sports landmark buildings represented by the Worker’s Stadium, the National Olympic Sports Center, the Asian Games Village, the National Stadium, the National Speed Skating Gymnasium, and has accumulated experience in sports architecture.
Beijing Institute of Construction has a perfect scientific research and innovation system. It is the first to set up research rooms and laboratories in China to tackle key problems in core technology and accelerate the industrialization of innovative achievements. Beijing Institute of Construction has also undertaken the design tasks of foreign aid sports buildings such as Belarus International Standard Natatorium and Abidjan Stadium in Ivory Coast, becoming an influential sports architecture design brand.
In 2017, Zhu Zhongyi completed the structural design task of the Russell Stadium, brought a number of innovative achievements home, and promoted the application of stadium projects in Sanya, Hainan, Rizhao, Shandong and other places, further promoting the development of cable structures and the improvement of design level. Zhu Zhongyi said, “If the World Cup comes to China in the future, we will be able to design a better football field.”
Brand Confidence: Chinese Design Goes to the International Arena
During the 2022 World Cup, the top 32 will compete in eight stadiums, of which only one will be designed by China. Experts in the industry said that at present, the top international engineering design is usually monopolized by well-known foreign design companies, and it is difficult to see Chinese design.
Zhu Zhongyi said: “After the experience of the Beijing Olympic Games, the Winter Olympics, the World Expo and other large-scale infrastructure projects, the design level of domestic peers has been greatly improved. China’s structural design has reached the international advanced level. We are confident that we can compete with foreign counterparts on the international arena.”
At the international bidding stage of the complex structure design of the Russell Stadium for the Qatar World Cup, the design team of the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design continued to optimize and improve the structural design. In view of the tropical desert climate, the high temperature and humidity all the year round, and the large sandstorms along the Persian Gulf, the design team proposed a number of countermeasures to reduce the impact of environmental factors on the building structure, and created a comprehensive and efficient system for the owner, which not only achieved a magnificent architectural effect, It also meets the safety and functional requirements, shortens the construction period, especially saves more than 10000 tons of steel, and realizes low-carbon construction.
“Our design scheme is connected with foreign standard system, with advanced technology, attention to details, thorough consideration, and solid technical support, and has been recognized by international peers.” Zhu Zhongyi said.
The relevant person in charge of Beijing Institute of Construction said that the Qatar World Cup main stadium project is an important step for Beijing Institute of Construction to implement the national “going out” strategy and build a Chinese design brand. It has demonstrated a new Chinese design image to the world and won the voice of Chinese design. “It is hoped that more and more Chinese enterprises will go abroad with confidence, so that Chinese brands can shine in the world.”