As part of Tata Steel’s long-term support for the British Triathlon Federation (BTF), a design team from the company has been working alongside race organisers and competition managers to develop a pioneering spectator sports venue – the Tata Steel Pavilion – for this year’s Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship presented by Tata Steel in Hyde Park, London.
This project is a continuation of the corporate partnership between Tata Steel and the BTF to enhance and develop the profile of triathlon at elite level through the delivery of world-class events in the UK. The August 6-7 Hyde Park triathlon is a major event in the UK sporting calendar, receiving live TV coverage, and will witness the world’s best triathletes competing over next year’s Olympic triathlon course. The event gains added spice because many nations will be using it as their qualifying event for the Olympics.
The Tata Steel Pavilion will form the centrepiece of the event’s VIP area. The spectator enclosure has been designed using post-tensioned structural steelwork based on Tata Steel’s proprietary range of Celsius© 355 structural hollow section tubular steel products.
Matt Teague, Tata Steel’s Senior Design Manager, Construction Solutions, commented: “The Tata Steel Pavilion brief called for a bespoke structure that would showcase innovative steel design, but also show restraint in materials used. The paired-arch design displays both a lightweight aesthetic and the potential of a stiffer structure that enables impressive clear-span capability. We believe we are the first company to apply post-tensioned steel technology as a solution for temporary sports infrastructure in the UK. The result is flexible and sustainable: a two-storey venue comprising a clear-span space to accommodate over 500 VIP guests, enhancing the presentation of a dynamic Olympic sport at a world-class event in one of London’s finest Royal Parks.”
The Tata Steel Pavilion challenges conventional thinking about the design and deployment of temporary spaces and explores the possibilities of enhancing spectator experience and crowd participation during major sporting events. The members of the project team adopted a collaborative approach to the design process, producing a signature structure capable of temporarily transforming a key space in central London, which would also serve as a showcase for both the inherent structural properties and lightweighting capabilities of structural steel.
The design of the Tata Steel Pavilion is based on well understood engineering principles and structural behaviour, determined by applying loads to a theoretical “string line” in much the same way as domed structures were designed in the 18th century. The design team adopted a similar process using ‘string line’ theory to size members in structural steel and to determine the amount of force with which to pre-load (or store energy in) the structure. The result is a clear-span column-free environment.
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