Innovative architecture, optimised planning and construction process
The Allianz Arena in Munich-Fröttmaning isn´t just one of the most cutting-edge football stadiums in Europe, it has set a milestone in innovative stadium architecture. 2002 saw the Swiss architects, Herzog & de Meuron, in conjunction with Alpine Bau Deutschland GmbH, carry through their concept – a test stadium structure which, on the one hand, enables 66.000 spectators immediate proximity to the game in three undercover tiers and provides the comfort of a state-of-the-art stadium. On the other hand, is a structure that will become a luminaire; a principal identifier both for the city as well as for the two resident clubs, FC Bayern München and TSV 1860 München. The smooth external facade has been designed as a rhombic, translucent shell, comprising 2.800 inflatable ETFE foil panels with integrated lighting. It serves as a visual transmitter: projections are used to cloak the stadium in different colours. When the Bayerns play home matches, it glows red; for Löwen games, it shines blue, and the whole area is illuminated in white for neutral scenarios.
Objectives promote intensive cooperation
The Allianz Arena was completed already in May 2005, approximately one year before the World Cup opening match. The intended execution time for this extensive and innovative structural task of approximately three years - just for the record, the construction cost around 500 million Euro – required optimum planning and construction processes. The basic principle for this was an early dialogue and know-how transfer between the property developers, designers, engineers, general planners, manufacturers and employees. It was possible to optimise the structures and details by means of constructive, integrated cooperation. This is why early contact was made with all those involved in the project: with the Allianz Arena München Stadion GmbH as the developer, with the general contractor, Alpine Bau Deutschland GmbH, and with the planning architectural office Herzog & de Meuron from Switzerland. With the result: all the internal work for the arena was carried out exclusively using Knauf drywall construction solutions. Through to completion of the structure, Knauf Gips KG delivered around 230.000 m² boards and approximately 60 tons thin plaster, and Knauf Perlte provided approx. 15.000 m² cement boards.
Architecture leads the way
The aim of the Herzog & de Meuron design was to create a piece of architecture that would capture the drama and emotion of a game. The architects turned to traditional English football stadiums, like Manchester and Liverpool, for inspiration. The Allianz Arena is designed uncompromisingly as a pure football stadium. The geometry of the interior and the economics of the development were optimally coordinated with this purpose in mind. Three steep tiers boast the necessary proximity to the pitch, coupled with a large spectator capacity. At the same time, the aim was to achieve a maximum compaction of the atmosphere inside the building. The height discrepancy between the terraces was effectively utilized to integrate the boxes.
Of conceptual importance for the architectural design was the need to skilfully guide the streams of visitors as well as to optimally network the necessary infrastructure, like dressing rooms, media areas, kiosks, fan shops, restaurants, offices or conference rooms. This is why the access areas for media representatives, the security personnel and the VIPs on the one hand, and the public access routes on the other, are managed over two different levels. While the former reach the arena at the stadium access route on level 0, the greater part of the visitors access the stadium via the so-called esplanade on level 2, and from there they are then directly split into lower and middle tiers. Designed as a scenic area, 153 metres wide and over 600 metres long, the esplanade also forms the roof for the car parks located beneath it. You can also access the upper tier from a total of 15 cascade stairways, which start on level 2 and encircle the entire stadium at intervals of 45 m.
Mutual objective – optimising materials and time The static system of the Allianz Arena was optimised to keep the extent of construction materials to a minimum. Correspondingly, dry construction firmly established itself in the interior. Whether in the gigantic gastronomy section of the arena, which extends across an area of 6.500 m², or with the space-defining design of the offices and conference rooms, media areas, clubs or lodges – Knauf systems enabled the most favourable solutions for the various sophisticated technical and design requirements. Tried-and-tested wall and ceiling systems formed the basis which Knauf, in intensive cooperation with the planners, then adapted to meet the bespoke constructional and technical requirements of the project.
Innovative Knauf developments, like the “free-spanning ceiling”, came up trumps in the execution of this pioneering stadium architecture. With the vast amount of cabling, ventilation and cable-line ducts spanning the underside of the ceiling, the system proved to be most advantageous in terms of installation technology, fire protection and design in the aesthetically sophisticated areas like the lodges and clubs. Suspended ceilings in the hallways and corridors, which were unable to cope with the space required for the installations, were replaced with the free-spanning Knauf system, D131. Spectator safety is one of the most important themes in the operation of the Allianz Arena. The fundamental prerequisite of this being the constructional fire protection. Knauf combined competence with efficiency here. Knauf Fireboard was used to protect the fire protection cladding of the ventilation channels. Special structures, developed in conjunction with Knauf and tested by the Materials Testing Institute in Braunschweig, were implemented in some areas. A total of 150 bespoke solutions were developed.
Know-how transfer creates the best possible structuresThe fact that the 15 cascade stairways of the new stadium were not, as originally intended, divided from the external cushioned façade by means of porous concrete elements, but have actually been manufactured from an efficient light construction, is a result of Knauf´s intensive consultation concept. A new structural assembly, which has been awarded an official test certificate, was developed specifically for the Allianz Arena. 12.000 m² of Knauf fire-resistant boards, GKFI, were applied to the interior and cement-bound Aquapanel outdoor boards from Knauf Perlite to the exterior. The concave façade of this structure facilitates a proficient, geometrically accurate and cost-effective implementation.