San Mames Structure and Facade
IDOM has participated in the design of the new San Mamés stadium of Athletic Club de Bilbao, one of the European clubs with the longest history and tradition, and was responsible for the structure and facade of the stadium, among others.
As responsible for the structural design of the stadium, IDOM developed an innovative structural solution based on two clearly differentiated structural elements: a structure based on composite portal frames to cope with a 7m perimeter cantilever, and a roof structure with a 50m cantilever supported by the composite portal frame structure.
One of the main challenges of the project was to provide a stadium that reflected the uniqueness of the club, so a unique facade formed by slats called La Vela (the Sail) was designed to project its personality. The design and implementation of this element required a robust process of research, design, prototyping and development. IDOM manufactured different prototypes in its own laboratories and performed different tests. More than 2,700 louvers were installed to create an envelope that changes its appearance from different perspectives, as well as providing a visual effect when combined with a sophisticated lighting system.
In order to meet the Club’s requirement of not playing home games away from the existing stadium and given that part of the footprint of the new stadium overlapped with it, IDOM proposed a phased construction system, which made it possible to move play from the old stadium to the new one in a matter of 3 months. After two years of constructing the first phase of the stadium, the old stadium was demolished at the end of the 2012/13 season. During the 2013/14 season, play continued as normal while work on the South Stand was being completed.