Sports Centre & Cricket Stadium, NCR

The existing stadiums are non-functional and do not adhere to the changing trends and requirements. A futuristic design has to be multifunctional and in competence with latest trends and technology. Hence, this stadium will cater to multiple tasks. This will not be like any traditional cricket stadium, but, is designed to hold other leisure activities such as – football matches, concerts, banquet and hospitality.

Thoughtful Design
The design is executed keeping in mind the security constraints and disaster management. As this would be an eye-catching tourist and recreational hub, the planning ensures that the complex is safe from high-security risks such as terrorism. V.I.P. boxes in all stands make the complex functional in all weather conditions and can be used to hold video conferences and private parties. This is not just a sports centre but a hospitality and entertainment hub which would change the scenario of stadium architecture in the country’.

Client’s Supposition
When you start with a new project and a new client, there are different set of expectations, requirements, and desires of the client. With this particular stadium, the brief was to design a state-of-the-art stadium in NCR, which meets international standards, grandeur in scale and appeal in design with emphasis on safety and security of the visitors and the players. The requirements were similar to any other stadium/sports complex, viz., Stadium with a holding capacity of 50,000 people, club, guest house and sports academy, etc., with emphasis on safety and security of the visitors and the players. However, the question was how an Architect could make it different from already built premises of similar use.

 

Every new project possesses its own set of challenges and problems. The key is to tackle and provide efficient design solutions while creating a unique and out of the box establishment, in context with site and surroundings and in competence with the latest trends and technology. Having 50 years of experience and expertise in the field and having done so many first’s in the country, viz. India’s first revolving restaurant at Ambassador Hotel in Mumbai, India’s first health spa and resort, Golden Palm Resorts at Bangalore, India’s first platinum rated Green campus, Cygnus World School in Vadodara; to name a few. This stadium will not only be used for cricket, but, for football as well and hence, this will be the first-of-its-kind Sports Stadium Cum Entertainment Complex in the country.

PREM NATH, Principal Architect, Prem Nath & Associates

Architect’s Delineation
The idea was to make an ‘iconic and flexible’ design with use of latest construction technology, and emphasis laid on the security and safety of the structure. As this is a public building, where the visitor profile will include bureaucrats, celebrities, players and local public, and international visitors, therefore, the design had to be conceptualized keeping in mind that no security issues arise. The circulation patterns should be such that there are minimum chances of any sort of chaos in the times of higher footfall.

Sports-cum-Entertainment
To add elegance to design steelwork and cable support system could be incorporated which will add a dramatic quotient to the stadium roof and gives a modern form to the building. Instead of making it just a cricket stadium, the idea was to make it an entertainment centre, because it was realised that the stadiums hold matches for a specific time of the year and other than those days the space should be utilised for other entertainment purposes.

Another focus was on the spectator area, it is observed that in 90 per cent of the stadiums, the spectators can’t see the foresight boundary line, while planning this stadium it will be ensured that the view from the spectator stands will be maximized and the boundary line would be visible from their place of sitting.

Steel-in-Vogue
Steel is one of the most flexible yet very sturdy materials available to us. It is by far used for every type of construction activity since centuries now. With the currently available techniques and technology, steel is evolved from a mere use of it as reinforcement – today steel structures have got in vogue and the design ideas are limitless with steel.

In this project, majority of the stadium’s structure shall be built with steel components – apart from the base RCC structure, the entire peripheral curvilinear ‘façade to roof’ structure shall be built in steel which shall itself be the major component of steel applicability; other ancillary structures too shall be built with steel keeping in mind the flexibility of use, ease of constructions and achievable speed in development; Steel not only gives me opportunity to design big, design freely but also enables me to think variety of forms and shapes.

Speaking Volumes
The entire project planning has been done within an area of approx. 32.6 acres; the project speaks of various structures, viz. stadium, club, guest house, utility and ancillary block, sports academy, etc. The stadium is planned for a capacity of 50,000 viewers, the stadium is distributed in four major stands, i.e. north, east, and west and south.

The stadium stands areas consist of viewers’ seating, viewers’ VIP boxes, team areas, administrative areas, security areas, media rooms, lobbies, food courts, washroom and other amenities.

The open area within the stadium is spread over 15,000 sqm. i.e. as per ICC Standards. Recreation / club area of 7,000 sqm. spread over ground plus 3 floors shall consist of indoor sports, viz. gymnasium, aerobics, boxing ring, squash, table tennis, billiards, etc. plus refreshment areas and common amenities swimming pool is planned in this area, as part of outdoor sports facility with changing rooms and amenities within the club building.

Guest rooms totalling to 160 nos. are planned in a ground plus 9-storied annex with a total construction area of 16,500 sqm; this shall also include the common spaces, reception, lobby, dining facilities, etc.

Stadium Geometrics
The premises have been planned to contain an oval shaped stadium complex, along with recreational and hotel block. Once you approach the stadium, you enter huge piazza, the internal road takes you along the entire complex. The geometry of the stadium is designed keeping in mind the comfort of the spectators; the spectator area is maximized ensuring that the spectators can see the boundary line unlike any other stadiums.

The pitch being the main focal point is aligned keeping in mind the north and south stands. The south stand is usually reserved as the media stand. The roof profile ensures that the glare affecting the east and west stand is well treated and there is minimal disturbance or difficulty to the viewers. RCC is used for stadium stands and steel for the roof and outer shell of stadium. The atrium space is supported by external steel frame to cover the entire spectator area. Hence, the supporting steelwork needed to be precisely engineered and executed. The external steelwork provides stability to the structure.

There is a scope for approximately 14,000 tonnes of structural steel usage with use of fabricated box girders on outer skin of the stadium. Use of solar panels in the roof assembly to add to the aesthetics and take advantage of sun’s energy. A state-of-the-art technology is used for the system of sports lighting and public address. Tower lights and track lights on the periphery ensures 1000 lux level required for a comfortable viewing and media coverage. Ventilation of the building is ensured by incorporating Louvers and perforated metal screens in the outer skin, which helps the building breath in and out.

Designing Techniques
As the Architect keeps travelling to various sites, meetings and seminars – but that does not stop him from designing, the conceptualization of any design begins with a sketch, which he usually prefers to make on the phone and share the same through mails with his team. By the time, he reaches office his expert staff presents him with the accurate vision of the sketch and they sit further to detail it, which is usually done on AutoCAD for 2-D interface and Revit architecture for modelling and adobe photoshop for presentation purposes and STAAD for structure.

Distinctive Experience
Each project brings with it different experience from dealing with the client to working out the entire design process. When it comes to a stadium, one thing that is different from other building typologies is that there are more people visualising and watching it on a television screen. The whole visual showing the exteriors of the stadium through a drone had to be dramatic. Therefore, the birds-eye view of the stadium is of utmost importance. It had to be treated in a way that it leaves an impact over the viewer, and obviously the design had to meet international standards.

There are already well-set examples of stadium architecture all over, so making something out of the box and something in competence with the already existing structures was the main challenge. For this particular project, Prem Nath And Associates chose to use steel to give it a flexible and a dynamic profile. This is one of the first projects where they experimented with steel as the main construction material, apart from being used it the frame work and structural system, steel here is widely used as an aesthetic component. The outer shell and roof enhances the entire look and feel of the complex, and gives the stadium a magnificent appeal.

The project is in its initial stages of finalisation and approvals and expected to take a period of 36 months of execution.

 

Fact File

Architect: Prem Nath and Associates
Structural Consultants: SACPL
Steel Tonnage: 14,000 tonnes approx.
Seating Capacity: 50,000
Current Status: Design Development