Stadium Design in Digital Age: Automatic Bowl Generation Tools

Stadium Design in Digital Age: Automatic Bowl Generation Tools

Vito Sirago (Arup, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3993-3.ch020

Abstract

The chapter is divided in two sections: the first section provides a general overview of the parametric design and analysis of a bowl while the second shows key study. The chapter explores the genetic sequence of the DNA of the bowl and how it can be identified and ordered in order to build a global definition of its form. The author underlines some formal characteristics that may produce particular emotional aspects and how to control even those. Even the “arena” effect, the feeling of belonging, and at the same time the segmentation of audience categories can be parameterized. The parametric approach has been used to respond to similar needs for performance monitoring of existing stadia. The second section of the chapter describes a key study: the parametric approach used by Arup for the restructuring interventions to the bowl of the Camp Nou Stadium during the competition organized by the Catalan club. The project proposal has been designed together with the architecture studio of Ricardo Bofill.
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Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to identify the creative processes that comes into play within the design of a sports facility and how these can be synthesized through a geometric definition algorithm.

The most obvious feature identifying mankind is the ability to deform the environment and objects, sometimes these transformations are voluntary and planned, while they are often side effects of transformation processes as, for instance, in case of actual global warming.

Architects are entrusted with the task of transforming space in order to provide a service to the community. Deciphering what kind of transformation maximizes the service provided is not an intuitive matter. We can find an example in the mechanisms of natural selection. They operate in a chaotic manner producing extremely complex organisms and extremely suitable to perform particular functions, however it is very complicated to understand how these have worked in their transformation. In case of man-made transformations, it is not just chaos to act yet the creativity of the mankind. A planned transformation process can therefore only be the birth of a project.

Among all anthropizations of urban environment, this chapter will deal with the typology of constructions intended for show displaying. Spectator’s enjoyment is the key element that defines an architecture which will be designed for this purpose. The quality of the show's fruition heavily influences the shape of the bowl and this is easily evident from a simple consideration: actually modern stadia are not so distant to classical amphitheaters.

Strictly speaking, a contemporary design hosting gladiator clashes, would be almost entirely analogous to what people can admire at the Coliseum and the use of modern computerized systems would not result in a sensible difference.

This last statement might sound contradictory to the subject of this paper. However, any method generating parametric algorithm cannot redefine the bond between form and function.

Instead, the computational approach allows obtaining several solutions for the shape of the bowl, following the definition of the geometry’s generative principles.

This preamble may seem almost redundant, but it is necessary because of a widespread misunderstanding that tends to associate the computational approach with a particular class of organic geometries such as those typical of deconstructivist architecture.

On the other hand, a computational approach means looking for the optimal solution and more control.

Moreover, the ease of creation of complex computerized geometric models facilitates digital representation, as well as, the transferring of information and project quality to partners, clients, and public audience, which ultimately will be the one that will give the most critical feedback on the project.

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