Fall Guard Protection Made Of GKD Metal Mesh Specified For Major French Sporting Arena

November 29, 2016 | Projects

In the first of its kind in 70 years, an 80,000 seat arena was built by AS Architecture Studio near Paris, France. Before The Grand Stade, no facility was equipped to accommodate over 45,000 people. Among impressive movable tiers on the new stadium, over 500 lights, and 180 speakers, each tier was adorned with woven metal mesh from GKD.

The French stadium, situated north of Paris in Saint-Denis, was originally built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, the Olympic Games, and various sports and cultural events. The arena sits on 14 acres of land and takes up over 100,000 square feet in the northern suburb of Paris. Its size earns the title of France’s largest stadium and the fifth largest in Europe. 


Stade, de, France, AS, Architecture, Studio, Paris, France, GKD, Metal, Fabric, Omega


An elliptical layout with four distinct sections of three-tiered stands makes up the body of the structure. All 80,000 seats are covered with nearly 200 feet high overhangs that make up the stadium roof. The first tier is equipped to retract 50 feet on air cushions to reveal an athletic track. The installation of the impressive mobile platform and towering roof took more than a year to complete. 

Stade, de, France, AS, Architecture, Studio, Paris, France, GKD, Metal, Fabric, Omega, photography, gkd

Specifying GKD Omega 1520, the architects chose a material that was both practical and stunning. The stainless steel metal weave was given a custom variance in degrees of transparency that play with light and shade. By day the metal mesh shimmers from sunlight and reflects a rhythmic glow onto the space inside. Beyond the durability and weather-resistance qualities of the sustainable material, the mesh plays a major role of providing fall guard protection along elevated walkways. The transparent mesh also provides natural ventilation and daylighting to create a pleasing atmosphere for visitors and guests. 

When not accommodating the France national football team and the French rugby union, the multifunctional arena is reserved for concerts that seat upwards of 90,000 people. The Grand Stade is the only stadium in the world to have hosted world cup finals for both football and rugby. Diverse crowds can enjoy amenities on the third tier to include a restaurant, entertainment areas, and shops. The overall construction took over 31 months and exceeded $350 million; with the roof accounting for $54 million. 

Stade, de, France, AS, Architecture, Studio, Paris, France, GKD, Metal, Fabric, Omega

The architects built the stadium as a center-piece of the Saint-Denis town. They chose the elliptical shape to represent the ‘universality of sport’ and carefully simulated the presence of a crowd through design software to accurately portray the final rendering. Careful attention was placed on lighting and sound qualities within the arena; which GKD played a major role in. From sound absorption in a noisy arena, safety and security on a walkway, and light reflection and abstraction, GKD combines both the functional and aesthetic qualities that are so well known of the material.

information and photography courtesy of e-architect



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