Search recommendations

    The Grand Sports Arena "Luzhniki" is a football stadium for year-round use with the possibility of holding mass events of a cultural and entertainment nature. The GSA was opened on July 31, 1956 and became the largest stadium in the USSR.

    In 1998, Luzhniki became the first stadium in our country ranked by UEFA as a 5-star European football facility, and on May 22, 2008, the stadium received UEFA elite status, becoming a key sports venue of international importance in Russia.

    In order for the stadium to meet all FIFA requirements on the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a global reconstruction was carried out, which made the arena a unique technical facility. Works began in 2013 and continued until 2017. After the successful completion of the reconstruction, this stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies and the key matches of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

    Photo: Dmitry Chistoprudov

    Before the start of the reconstruction, there were continuous disputes: some experts believed that in order to build the main stadium of the 2018 World Cup as soon as possible, Luzhniki would be easier to demolish and build a new facility that meets all the requirements of FIFA. However, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin made a historic decision - to preserve the appearance of the object, and create a modern complex inside it.

    Only the façade wall was preserved from the former building, everything inside it was dismantled. 250,000 tons of reinforced concrete structures and partitions were demounted. To fix the façade wall, 1,100 tons of metal trusses and beams were installed. It took 120,000 cubic meters of concrete to create a monolithic reinforced concrete frame of the building, the stands were assembled from prefabricated reinforced concrete structures.

    The total area of the GSA after reconstruction is 221,000 m², the area under the stands was expanded to 181,000 m², the capacity is 81,000 spectators, which is 3,000 people more than before. The stands are located at a minimum distance from the football field under an increased degree of inclination, which allows you to get a good overview from any point. 102 "skyboxes", which are the lodges with an increased level of comfort, have been created, 2,000 VIP seats have been provided, 300 seats have been equipped for people with limited mobility. Cafes and canteens were additionally placed in the premises under the stands, and a modern media center was equipped. The number of exits from the stadium has increased from 13 to 16.

    As part of the reconstruction, the preserved walls of the building were cleaned and restored, while the color scheme of the façade remained in the light sandy palette familiar to Muscovites and visitors of the city. The façade of the GSA was decorated with perforated metal panels designed by Artemy Lebedev's studio, which depict competitions in various sports.

    The new Luzhniki roof deserves special mention. It does not adjoin the stadium and has its own supports. The roof covering is made of polycarbonate, perfect for natural football fields. To protect the fans from precipitation, the roof of the Grand Sports Arena above the stands has acquired an additional canopy 11.5 meters long.

    After the reconstruction, the roof of the Grand Sports Arena turned into a huge LED media screen with an area of 39,000 m². It has become one of the elements of the architectural illumination of the building, and during sports matches, it broadcasts the game score, flags of the participating teams and other information. The media roof is designed taking into account Russian climatic conditions and can operate at temperatures from minus 30 to plus 50 degrees Celsius.

    Photo: Stanislav Zaburdaev

    Under the roof space there is a sports light, which has been updated in accordance with the modern requirements of television broadcasts. A total of 348 sports lighting projectors were installed. Such light provides a high-quality picture on TV screens and comfort for those present at the stadium.

    During the reconstruction of the stadium and the territory of the sports complex, the most modern security system was installed. The territory is divided into 10 zones with different levels of security: public access, highways, press, etc. About 1,500 video cameras monitor the territory and the stadium. In total, 1,402 devices are used in the security system. There are 6 transport and 5 pedestrian checkpoints along the perimeter of the complex.

    The technical solutions adopted in the project ensure compliance with the BREEAM certification requirements. In January 2018, Luzhniki received the BREEAM Bespoke environmental certificate. The GSA also became the winner of the All-Russian competition for environmental development and energy efficiency Green Awards 2017 in the Social Facilities category.

    In 2017, the Luzhniki Stadium was recognized as the best stadium in the world according to experts from, the world's leading stadium database. Also, this stadium became a finalist of the MIPIM Awards 2018 in the nomination "Best restored object".

    After the reconstruction, the Luzhniki stadium hosted not only the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches, but also major international cultural and entertainment events, including concerts by Metallica, Muse, Rammstein, Bon Jovi, Imagine Dragons.

    In this project, the Metropolis company took part in the development of structural solutions and internal engineering systems at the stages of the Concept, Project Documentation, Detail Design and Author’s Supervision, and also took the necessary measures to ensure compliance with energy efficiency requirements and equipment of buildings and structures with metering devices for used energy resources.

    As a result of the successful implementation of this project, five of our employees received a commendation from Andrey Bochkarev, Head of the Moscow City Construction Department, and Alexander Nikolaevich Vorozhbitov, General Director of Metropolis, was awarded the title of Honorary Builder of the City of Moscow. It is given for personal contribution to the development of the construction industry of the country. The title can be obtained by representatives of the industry with at least 15 years of experience.

    Video materials from the website of the Moscow Construction Complex

    Structural solutions

    The external appearance of the GSA was carefully preserved, including the colonnade encircling the stadium, the inner wall, and the shape of the roof. Behind the historical wall, an inner street was created, the centre-piece of which are impressive cascading staircases that serve as the main routes for the movement of people.

    Photo: Dmitry Chistoprudov

    The Grand Sports Arena is a fascinating building: it has 3 structures that are nominally independent. This includes a cover that stands on columns and rests on pile grillages, an external brick wall that rests on its foundation and is self-supporting, as well as a reinforced concrete frame of stands. Partially, the cover is held on to the frame of the stands by vertical ties, only to prevent twisting. Thus, 3 eras are represented at the stadium: the outer wall of the 1950s, the roof and columns of the 1990s, and the reinforced concrete frame is already a new feature.

    Reconstruction work began in 2014 and included the dismantling of existing stands and the construction of new stands in accordance with FIFA requirements. It also required an increase in the area of the translucent coating due to the installation of a canopy along the inner contour of the stadium roof.

    Work on building up the GSA roof canopy took only 2.5 months and was completed ahead of schedule. The builders increased the length of the canopy by 11.5 m, and the total weight of the assembled metal structures was 460 tons. The need to build up the canopy was due to FIFA requirements for the 2018 World Cup stadiums. In particular, one of these requirements was the protection of fans from precipitation and sunlight. The existing roof canopy at the Luzhniki stadium could not provide full comfort for the spectators, so it was decided to build up the structure.

    Photo: Dmitry Chistoprudov

    The roof was subjected to anti-corrosion treatment, including cleaning of metal structures from rust and old paint, and then a protective anti-corrosion layer was applied to it. After that, a new coating was laid on the roof of the stadium - translucent polycarbonate. This lightweight, impact-resistant material provided the arena with protection from rain and sunlight.

    The 25-meter-high external façade walls, which are of historical value, are an element of the spatial rigidity of the stadium's roof construction scheme. The main problem to be solved was to ensure the stability of the façade walls, which at certain stages of dismantling the old stands could be left without horizontal fastening elements.

    Regarding the stages of dismantling obsolete elements, at the initial stage it was necessary to disconnect the retained roof structures from the main part of the stadium. It was not possible to dismantle the stands without detaching the cover, since they ensured the stability of the roof itself. At the same time, the roof was sort of “fastened” to the stadium structures using perimeter ties. In order to "unfasten" the roof from the frame of the stadium without losing stability, temporary cross connections were installed between the columns on which the roof rests. Subsequently, the roof was "fastened" to the reinforced concrete frame of the new stands. Also, the façade wall was fastened to the new frame with the help of flexible horizontal ties.

    The next and no less important task that had to be solved was to ensure the stability of the structure of the retained façade wall during the dismantling of the supporting frame of the existing stands of the stadium. An option of the arrangement of a spatial structure outside the stadium was studied in depth, which would ensure the inviolability of the historical walls. However, for certain reasons, this option had to be abandoned.

    To ensure the stability of the outer walls, it was decided to use the structures of the existing stands located inside the stadium. The supporting structures of the old stands were made of a metal frame with a brick lining. Having exposed this metal, it became possible to arrange a system of additional temporary connections through which the wind load on the façade walls was transferred to the steel frame. Calculations were made of the required number of spans of stands adjacent to the outer wall, and it was concluded that to ensure the strength and stability of the façade wall, only one span with the installation of temporary ties would be sufficient. Thus, steel columns of the old frame ran along the façade wall with a gap of 6 meters, which, with the help of beams of existing ceilings and temporary vertical cross ties, ensured the spatial operation of structures inside the stadium.

    At the next stage, the foundations, stands and structures of the space under the stands were dismantled, with the exception of the structures holding the façade wall. Then a new reinforced concrete frame of the stands was erected.

    With the help of metal beams and flexible horizontal ties, the frame of the stands began to hold the front wall. It became possible to dismantle the remaining steel columns and ties adjacent to the historical wall. Thus, a paradoxical situation has arisen when the possibility of dismantling was realized with the help of dismantled structures. And the correct determination of the order of the stages of dismantling and erection of new stadium structures played a big role in this.

    It is worth mentioning that many decisions on re-supporting old structures for new ones had to be made already in the process of dismantling, i.e. the available data was only sufficient to make conceptual decisions. But for the development of nodes, accurate initial data on the actual position, dimensions of existing elements and their cross sections were required. In the process of dismantling the structures, as well as disassembling individual elements, all the metal was exposed and new data was specified. As a result, the process of developing temporary tie attachment points was constantly in motion. The emergence of new data led to the adjustment of already adopted and, it would seem, elaborated design decisions.

    Engineering solutions

    For the Luzhniki football field, the natural surface of the field (105×68 m) was completely renovated, created using the SIS GRASS technology, which involves the introduction of artificial fiber into a natural grass surface. More than 20 million artificial grass fibers are embedded into the living lawn at a depth of 15-20 cm, which allows achieving a stable and even surface. The field can withstand up to eight hours of continuous football play.

    Kilometers of engineering communications are hidden under the lawn 1.5 meters deep: irrigation systems, drainage, aeration, heating and monitoring of agrotechnical characteristics, automation and dispatching of maintenance, as well as a protective coating of the lawn. Their total length is 35 km. The temperature of the lawn is constantly maintained at 15 degrees. The drainage system, in turn, was combined with subsoil aeration technology, with the help of which excess water is removed from the surface of the football field, and air enters the root zone of the lawn.

    The applied technologies made it possible to enrich the soil with oxygen, reduce the risk of its decay, as well as increase the rate of heating and cooling of the football field itself. The drainage system consists of several layers of sand and crushed stone of various fractions, which create a natural filter that separates soil impurities and passes only water into the pipes.

    Alexander Lyubartsev, Chief Engineer of Metropolis, shared his impressions of the work on the reconstruction of the GSA Luzhniki: “Reconstruction makes you think and act outside the box, taking into account a rather complex, multi-way sequence of actions. That is why the design of the stadium began with a conceptual approach. Of course, some solutions were born in the course of construction. But such a difficult experience is valuable because you rethink a lot of technical solutions. Each reconstructed object is a library, an encyclopedia, a manual for young engineers. Moreover, solutions have to be sought in specialized literature, in books, photographs, and in the history of the construction business. If you understand how it was done before, in what sequence it was built 50 or 100 years ago, then from an engineering point of view, this is often a hint for making the most original decisions. It must be noted that many of the technical solutions of the previous reconstructions of the stadium were competent and technically correct at that time. But we had other tasks ahead of us, and they were completed. The appearance of the object, which is significant not only for Moscow, but for the whole country, was carefully preserved, the new sports arena impressively welcomed the World Cup.”

    Figures and facts
    • Year 2018
    • Location Moscow, Luzhniki 24
    • Area 221 000 m2
    • Status Built
    • Architecture Speech
    • Customer Mosinzhproekt
    • Website
    Scope of work
    • Design stages Concept

      Project documentation

      Detail design

      Author's supervision
    • Architectural and structural design Structural solutions
    • Design of internal engineering systems Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems

      Water supply and sewerage systems

      Power supply systems

      Low-current system

      Automation and dispatching systems
    • Organization of construction works production plan

      Technological regulations for handling construction and demolition waste
    • Special sections Energy efficiency

      Fire safety measures