New stadium: The dancing canopy from Sakarya

source:; author: michał

New stadium: The dancing canopy from Sakarya It's one of the most-mentioned nominees in the 8th edition of Stadium of the Year. The new stadium in Sakarya stands out on any list, even the growing list of last year's new stadiums.


The design for this new stadium in Sakarya (north-western Turkey) was created in 2012-2013 by the office of renowned architect Alper Aksoy. Turkish designers opted to go for an ellyptical stadium despite its football-only use and 'rectangular' auditorium. A plot of over 127,000 m2 in the north east of Sakarya was earmarked for the project, just beside new ring-road.

Sakarya Stadyumu© Stadyumlar

The traditional monolithic stands comprise one underground floor (with 151 parking spaces) and four levels above ground. Fifth is the mezzanine in the west, where command center and commentators' cabins are located. The front row is very close to the field (7 meters at closest) and the auditorium has very conservative rake of just over 20º (lower tier) and just over 30º (upper).

Because the ppermost row is on the same level in every part of the stadium and the bowl is elliptical, there's still room for potential expansion in some areas. It's worth noting, though, that the stadium is already larger than planned. When approved, it was supposed to hold 25,000 people, while eventual layout allowed for safe accommodation of 28,000+.

Sakarya Stadyumu© Sakaryaspor

By far the most exciting part of the stadium is its roof, which makes one forget about the traditional concrete structure beneath. Vast canopy hanging above the stadium is worthy of much greater venue with its total surface 41,500 m2 (including 3,500 m2 of transparent PTFE and remainder in PVC). The transverse axis is 236 meters and the longitudinal axis is 272 meters, while the longest girders span over 70 meters each!

Sakarya Stadyumu© Sakaryaspor

The roof's support structure is combined with lightweight steel web enveloping the stadium. Most of its diamond-shaped openings are filled with PVC mesh in three colours of Sakaryaspor (white, green and blue), which brings the total mesh surface to 10,000 m2. Interestingly, in this case it's not the mesh that's illuminated at night, rather the steel beams and roof membrane. This dancing” facade wrap is scrapped only in the west, where the glazed main building shows from inside the stadium.

Commissioned by the Turkish housing agency TOKI, the stadium is part of Turkey's national stadium programme. When decision on location was made, it was hoped to cost TRY 106 million, however the eventual contract saw value raised to TRY 151 million.