Just as planned, in early March the new national stadium of Azerbaijan was handed over by Tekfen İnşaat. Now the building awaits the 2015 European Games and Euro 2020.
Over the weekend the Azeri sports ministry (MYS) took over at the Baku Olympic Stadium. The project was handed over by Turkish contractor Tekfen and is now undergoing commissioning to be opened later this spring.
One of Europe’s most impressive multi-use stadiums was built on nearly 500,000 square meters and will host the very first European Games this June (12-28). It’s also selected to host the Euro 2020 as the very easternmost city ever listed to host the UEFA event.
Actual construction was launched in December 2012, but preparations began much earlier, back in June 2011. That’s because the stadium is located on land reclaimed from the Boyukshor Lake, which had to be decontaminated first.
Baku’s latest stadium clearly shows both the aspirations and potential Azerbaijan has. It’s over twice the size of current national stadium in central Baku (connected with it by highway) at 68,000. It also took a massive €710 million to build ($780m) and that price tag might not be sealed yet. It looks even higher when compared to early estimates of roughly $300 million in 2010!
Plans for the stadium date back to 2006, when the very first draft was created by Turkish TOCA practice, later modified and taken over by local office of international company Heerim.
Final touches were added as late as in 2013, when the most distinctive element was revealed. It’s the façade covered with ETFE cushions. We know that solution very well already, but unlike some other stadiums utilizing it, this one doesn’t have an opaque elevation. Instead, the cushions are spread out, allowing sunlight and air insight, while visually making the stadium much lighter. And just like many modern stadiums, this one may be turned into one immense video screen on event days.