Saparmyrat Türkmenbaşy adyndaky Olimpiýa Stadiony (Ashgabat Olympic Stadium)
|Design||AFL Architects / Arup|
|Address||Beýik Saparmyrat Türkmenbaşy şaýoly, Aşgabat, Turkmenistan|
Description: Aşgabat Olimpiýa Stadiony
After the selection of Ashgabat as host of 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) back in 2010, work began almost instantly on what would become one of Asia's most impressive sports complexes. Olympic in terms of spending, though not meeting actual IOC rules for Summer Olympics, the sports center was to span across 147 hectares and by 2016 was estimated to cost $5 billion, absolute record of spending for any AIMAG tournament.
The main stadium, though not actually needed to host AIMAG, was initially only planned to receive an upgrade. Most notably, it was to have a giant horse's head fitted onto the roof's northern part. Later it was planned that the upper tiers of seating would be torn down and rebuilt with larger capacity. Eventually, by late 2013, all of the previous stadium was demolished after just 10 years in operation.
In its place the largest single sports building in Turkmenistan has been built. While not Olympic in size, it's commonly referred to as the Olympic Stadium, despite its “only” 45,000 seats. Its scale is indeed impressive, largely thanks to the aforementioned horse head, referring to the country's symbol - ahal teke horse. The white-clad head has a footprint of 1,200 square meters and adds massive 600 tons to the roof's overall weight. The torch sticking out of it tops at 82 meters above ground, making it one of the city's tallest buildings.
The rest of its roof is between 40-50 meters in height and, despite being covered with lightweight PTFE membrane, is rather heavy. The steel structure based upon 16 main girders, weighs some 10,500 tons.
All of the stadium, as the president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow prefers, has been covered in white (partly white marble) and offers arguable aesthetic impression with its lavish gold signage and various decorations.
Well before stadium construction was launched, works were well underway for other elements of the sports village, which has a size big enough to host an internal monorail of 5.2 km, with 7 stations. Aside from the main stadium there are two 5-star hotels here, 14 indoor halls of different sizes and many other venues split by cheerful alleys with fountains.