Texlon® ETFE – Olympic Stadia, should they be multipurpose?

Stadia and Arenas have been people magnets and iconic buildings since ancient Rome. Today, architects and designers find more creative ways to design landmark venues that put sports teams and events that use them on the map – they become postcard images for their host cities.

Apart from superior technical features that provide light flooded and climate controlled interior spaces, Texlon® ETFE is the system of choice for many modern architects who want to create an impactful stadium design, allowing them to be multi-purpose. Wide spans, unique shapes and a large variety of transparency options, give designers all the possibilities they could wish for.

As the 2018 Winter Olympics came to an end there was a lot of commotion about the Pyeongchang Stadium. The stadium was used for both the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2018 Winter Olympics and the 2018 Winter Paralympics, then the stadium will be demolished. Many see this as a waste, but when the numbers were crunched it made more sense to demolish than maintain the stadium, as millions of dollars would be needed for upkeep. So now the question is: are “pop up stadiums” more economical, or would building a multipurpose stadium be more beneficial? The answer could swing either way depending on the economic state of the host country, among other factors.

Vector Foiltec would like to take the side of making them multi-purpose, for year-round post-Olympic use. Many stadiums have done this, and continue to do this by enclosing them with roofs and facades using the transparent building material ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene).

National Aquatics Center


The Beijing Watercube, or National Aquatics Center, was the centerpiece for the 2008 summer Olympics. The ‘cube’ includes 100,000 m² of Texlon® ETFE. The largest ETFE project in the world, to date, was able to transform the cube’s interior into marketable and usable recreational space post-Olympics. The interior of the cube has been transformed into a year-round indoor waterpark attraction, the largest is Asia.

London Stadium


ETFE is also beneficial when renovating existing Olympic Stadia. The former London Olympic Stadium was a multi-use stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies for the Summer Olympics in 2012, as well as Olympic sporting events. After renovations in 2015, which includes a Texlon® ETFE canopy, the Stadium is still being used, and has received awards for its transformation. Aside from being the home to the West Ham Football Club, the latest events held there were for the 2017 IAAF World Championships in Athletics and the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships. Prior to that, the stadium also hosted several 2015 Rugby World Cup matches. Annually the stadium is host to the finish of the Great Newham London Run. It is a great example of a multi-purpose stadium, holding concerts with up to 80,000 spectators, and is suitable to host other sporting events such as cricket or baseball. The 9,800 m² Texlon® ETFE Halo and West Stand canopies protect visitors from the elements and enlarge the surrounding area enhancing the multi-purpose concept.

Fisht Olympic Stadium

Fisht Olympic Stadium, in Sochi Russia, includes a 40,000 m² Texlon® ETFE roof. The stadium was used for the 2014 Winter Olympics ceremonies and sporting activities. This venue’s story is ongoing, as it was later used for the Confederations Cup in 2017. The stadium underwent some transformations to make it compliant with FIFA regulations, and it will host the FIFA World Cup games in 2018. Vector Foiltec is proud to see that this Olympic Stadium is still being utilized with its system on board.

With sustainability being the forefront of design and construction, find out how you can keep those goals aligned while making your stadium a year-round, multi-use destination by incorporating Texlon® ETFE. Whether it is an existing structure, or new construction, we can help make your project a success.

Contact us for your next project – click here.

What else do you need to know about Texlon® ETFE and Vector Foiltec?

Benefits of ETFE:

/ Design flexibility for iconic architecture
/ Efficient structures with maximum free span
/ Ultra Lightweight transparent cladding solutions
/ LED integration for stunning illumination effects
/ Maximum long-term system durability
/ Suitable for every climate and environment
/ Perfect for LEED & BREAM certifications

Benefits of working with Vector Foiltec:

/ Market leader in ETFE application
/ Design and engineering competence in ETFE and structure
/ Deep understanding of construction process and schedule
/ Support in acoustic, climate and lighting design
/ Largest ETFE fabrication capacity for big-scale projects
/ Worldwide presence



London Stadium: Sam Peach

Fisht Stadium: RIA Novosti

Date posted