The Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia, is the venue of opening, closing and medal ceremonies of the 22nd Winter Olympics in February 2014. The setting is beautiful as the stadium is inspired by Faberge Easter eggs: the walls and roof form a single surface that reflects the sunlight. The company that created the distinctive steel roof structure is Mostproekt, a Russian engineering firm specializing in complex design and bridge construction and working closely with the steel structures producer Kurgantalmost. Their choice for design was 3D Building Information Modeling with Tekla.

-“Tekla software enabled the team to visualize the roof structure in 3D, making the design process more comprehensible and accurate,“ says Konstantin Raznoglyadov from Mostproekt. The company coordinated the project and served as the main designer.

Smooth shapes challenge designers

For a builder, an Olympic stadium is an awe-inspiring project: The structures are huge and complex, and possible flaws or delays are broadcasted to a couple of billion sports enthusiasts globally.

Smooth, organic shapes made of steel like those in the Fisht stadium mean complex nodes between the beams. Just evaluating the actual dimensions of basic structures and nodes was a challenge. Mostproekt started to tackle the task with modeling, and noticed that the size of nodes did not meet the requirements of transport. As they could simulate the parts with Tekla Structures, they could offer their customers alternative solutions and managed to reduce the dimensions to make the parts suitable for transportation.

Since the unique stadium includes non-standard parts, Mostproekt had to create parametric components and parts. Tekla software includes libraries, but the team also added components directly without programming.

Information for fast fabrication

Due to the complexity of designs and tight schedule of the roof structures, the structures were produced in several factories. Reasons for Mostproekt choosing Tekla include that all fabrication information in the models and possibility to use that information at all stages of construction.

-“You can release the documentation in the form of design drawings, various forms of reports and exact specifications,” says Sergey Bessonov, Chief Engineer of Mostproekt. The steel fabricator Kurgantalmost used a Trimble robotic total station together with the model for verifying the design, and utilized the information for fabrication.

Mostproekt used the Tekla model to get accurate reports on materials and files for cutting which made purchasing the sheet material and cutting more efficient.

-“We used Tekla Structures in all fabrication facilities, which substantially reduced time for approval of changes and coordination plants,” says Oleg Moiseev, General Manager of Mostproekt. Moiseev continues: “Turnaround times were very short. Without the Tekla software, it would have been difficult to respond to all changes in the design of the stadium.”