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Tata Steel VIP enclosure at Hyde Park sports venue

Materials

As presenting sponsors, Tata Steel erected a unique temporary pavilion in Hyde Park over the weekend of 24/25th July. The pavilion served as the VIP area and centerpiece of the ITU World Championship, the world’s premier triathlon event to be screened live on BBC 2.
The pavilion was constructed from ‘post-tensioned steel technology’, a technique believed to be the first of its kind to be applied as a solution for temporary infrastructure in the UK and one that showcases innovative steel technology using lightweight materials as well as demonstrating the creative flair and potential of Tata Steel in design, architecture and engineering.
Working in collaboration with, S2 – an Australia based company specialising in the design and implementation of large span steel solutions, the Tata Steel enclosure challenges conventional thinking around the design and deployment of temporary spaces and the possibilities of enhancing ‘spectator experience’ and ‘crowd participation’ during major sporting events.
During the design process, Tata Steel and S2 engaged in a collaborative process to produce a signature structure capable of temporarily transforming a key space in central London alongside serving as a showcase of the inherent strength and lightweight ability of steel. The design of the Tata Steel enclosure incorporates established engineering principles of structural behavior, determined by applying loads to a theoretical ‘string line’ in much the same way as domed structures were designed in the early 18th century.
The design team incorporated a similar process using a ‘string line’ to size members in structural steel and to determine the amount of force with which to pre-load (or store energy in) the structure. In practice, the ‘string line’ physically exists as a post-tensioned cable system and is loaded to the calculated forces by hydraulic stressing – preloading energy into the structure before the application of external forces.
Once in assembled position on the ground, a stressing strand is fed through the bottom chord of each main truss and edge members, and stressed to precise loads. Stressing ensures the structure remains ‘active’ during deployment without the traditional ‘dead weight’ structure controlling the building’s force and deflection. The result is a wide-span, column free environment.
Matt Teague Senior Design Manager, Corus Comments: "The brief called for a bespoke design that would showcase innovative steel design, but also show restraint in materials used. The result is a structure, which displays both a lightweight aesthetic and strength in equal measure. We believe this is the first time post-tensioned steel technology has been applied as a solution for temporary infrastructure in the UK. The outcome is a majestic venue, which can provide a wide span space suitable to accommodate over 200 VIP guests and befits both a world-class venue and elite sport."

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