Spodek (meaning "saucer" in Polish) is a multipurpose arena complex in Katowice, Poland, opened in 1971 at ul. Korfantego 35.
Aside from the main dome, the complex includes a gym, an ice rink, a
hotel and three large car parks. It is the largest indoor venue of its
kind in Poland. It hosts many important cultural and business events.
are especially common non-sport events. Spodek can hold 11,500 people,
although this number is in practice limited to 10,000 or even 8,000 due
to stage set-ups obscuring the view. Its Polish name refers to a flying
saucer (its shape resembles a UFO). Spodek is a major contribution to
the cultural significance of Katowice in Poland, especially for the
younger generations. It has also been used as an unofficial logo for the
city on posters promoting redevelopment in Katowice. Spodek is home to
HC GKS Katowice ice hockey club in the winter months.
It has played host to many up-and-coming bands, such as Chumbawamba in 1997, as well as dozens of world-famous bands. There are also held music festivals such as Rawa Blues Festival, Metalmania and Odjazdy.
The idea of building a large venue originated in 1955, while Katowice
was temporarily renamed Stalinogród. A contest was held to select the
best design. Initially, it was to be constructed on the outskirts of
town, but the Voivodeship National Council decided it should be built
near the city center. A mining waste dump site classified "2A" was chosen for construction.
Maciej Gintowt and Maciej Krasiński, architects of Spodek, designed the Spodek as one of the first major structures to employ the principle of tensegrity. The roof uses an inclined surface held in check by a system of cables holding up its circumference.
The structural engineer who conceived the unique tensegrity roof and made it work is Wacław Zalewski. His innovative structures include Supersam, a supermarket in Warsaw with a roof made up of alternating arches and cables, many unique industrial roofs in Poland, two basketball arenas in Venezuela with hanging roofs, the structure of the National Museum of Art in Caracas, the Venezuelan Pavilion at the Seville's Expo in 1992, and several bridges and roofs in South Korea.
Information taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/
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