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San Mames Cable Roof Extension


The new San Mamés Stadium, designed by IDOM, is the new home of football team Athletic Club of Bilbao. After the new stadium was ­ finished, IDOM was commissioned by the Club to assess potential upgrades to the roof with the aim of improving the spectators’ comfort on rainy days.

The structural design proposed by IDOM for the roof extension is based on a radial convex  cable  beam  structure  with  two inner  tension  rings  and  an  outer  compression ring (spoke wheel roof structure).

It is a unique and ingenious structural solution which provides a considerably long additional span, minimising its effects on the existing structure by means of an innovative interface and a detailed assessment of the erection sequence.

A fundamental requirement from the Club was to play all home matches uninterruptedly in San Mamés. IDOM was successful in creating a project schedule where both design and construction phases fulfilled such an ambitious objective.

The erection of a cable-roof  extension  which  increases the roof spans by 13 to 23 m (up to a total of 60-75 m considering also the original roof), was eventually carried out during the summer break of 2016.

Despite the major technical and schedule challenges posed by the design and construction, the innovative structural design proposed by IDOM proved to be a driving factor in the project’s success.

The Cable Roof Extension has been awarded the prestigious Structural Awards, granted by The Institution of Structural Engineers, for their structural engineering excellence in the category of Long Span Structures.

Find more details on the project in Videos

Special Structures

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San Mamés Barria -SMB

Structural Design & Construction Supervision

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