The County Council wanted to give the Gateshead Stadium a contemporary new look by adding a canopy roof for the 4,000 spectator seats in the East Grand Stand. The main purpose of the tensile fabric structure was to create a greater ‘fan experience’ while enhancing the perception of the Stadium – helping it to attract big name athletes, stars and events.
In order to keep the fan’s field of vision clear, a bespoke cantilevered tensile fabric canopy was designed. The 2,700 sqm structure incorporates a series of five flying barrel-vault forms, protecting the 4,000 seats from the elements. In order to have the structure look ‘light and airy’, steelwork was value-engineered still allowing the structure to suit the poor ground conditions, by Fabric Architecture’s expert team of tensile designers. This saved the client thousands of pounds against proposals they had received from other tendering companies.
The 90m x 30m cantilevered tensile fabric structure has no central columns, offering fans an unobstructed view of the pitch. The new tensile structure made headlines at the British Athletics Grand Prix where some of the World’s greatest track and field athletes competed. Covering the Grand Stand with fabric has increased ticket sales by attracting more families and big name stars. Gateshead has seen an exponential return on its investment.