Architecture and FootballFootball is one of the world’sfavourite sport.
People love playing it, watching it-and betting onit. Checkout William Hill’s World Cup odds here.There are great tournaments and evenbetter clubs all around the world. One of the most anticipated eventsof football is the Fifa World Cup. The next one will be held in 2018in Moscow. To accommodate thousands of spectators from all around theworld you need stadiums.
Giant ones! And there you have theconnection between football and architecture. Anything you build, youput a lot of effort to design it well. Not only because it costs awhole lot of fortune to build it but because you want it to last formany-many years. Especially so if it’s a stadium. It must stand thetest of time. And the eyes of the world is on Moscow. In order tohost the World Cup 2018 extensive improvements had to be carried outon The Luzhniki Stadium.
Let me tell you a little bit more about thehistory of this beautiful building.The stadium was originally built from1955 to 1956 and was called the Central Lenin Stadium back then. Itfunctioned as the Soviet Union’s national stadium. It was called TheLuzhniki Stadium from 1992. The construction work began in thespringtime in 1955. The build was completed in only 450 days.
It hada capacity of 103 000 seats. The design was a bowl with a single tierfor spectators. Its foundation was reinforced concrete, where theplaying field and the running track was hidden behind a monumentalfaçade.A major renovation was carried out in1996 when a roof was put up above the stands. The seating areas havebeen refurbished as well resulting in a reduced capacity of 78 000seats. The second -and by far the mostextensive- renovation started in 2014. As a result, its capacity hasincreased to 81 000 seats.The biggest challenge was presented bythe fact that the original roof and external walls had to be keptintact.
The work was carried out preserving the historic outer shell.That made construction works difficult, to say the least.The stands’ layout changed completely.The stadium now has 2 smaller tiers with regular seats instead onelarge tier it had previously. A narrow balcony has been createdbetween the tiers with 102 private boxes.
The other main change wasthat they got rid of the athletic track, making it a football-onlystadium. The floor space increased to 221 000 m², making it thebiggest stadium in Eastern-Europe and one of the largest stadiums inthe world. Changing the seating layout required tomake an adjustment to the roof, too. While the original frame hasbeen kept as it was, 7000 m² translucent sheets were added to theinner surface to protect the new front row seats.
It has anotherfunction, too-it can turn into a giant screen to ensure you don’tmiss any action. The cladding was replaced on the entire roof and afrieze -designed by Art. Lebedev Studio – runs along the building.Construction was completed by thesummer of 2017 and cost $540 million.Since its opening a number of eventstook place in the stadium: the 1980 Summer Olympics, athleticsevents, ice hockey world championships and world-class artistsincluding Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, U2 performedwithin the walls of the stadium just to mention a few.
The stadium has become a real landmark,the most iconic stadium of Russia. Even if you are not a big footballfan, watching a match here at this spectacular building, seeing thewalls that were built over 60 years ago and experience history firsthand would be a dream come true for many of us.