Thursday, March 1, 2018

Bramley Moore Stadium Construction images: part one!

March 16: The first night of the competition. I had a basic idea for how to convert between football and athletics, as the brief called for. On the lower tier, the main stand would sit separately from the other stands, 5m further back from the pitch to provide openings in the corners. The stand along the long end is one solid piece, but the stands at the ends are made up of 5 16m long sections. Each of the corners is made up of six separate sections. Each of these sections are capable of being moved independently of the others beside it.

March 16: in Athletics configuration. The main stand is moved back 5m, and the long-side stand is moved back 10m. Now, here's the fun bit. Each of these sections sits on the ground like normal. Each section is, one at a time, lifted hydraulically, and then moved, via wheels, into the new location for it. This is based on part of the solution at Singapore National Stadium, but you can find this in use in any moderately sized warehouse. Because each of these sections contains no supporting infrastructure - pipes etc - and is comprised just of a structure and seats, the weight of each section to be moved is reduced. The main benefits of such a system is massively reduced costs and the ability to quickly convert from one configuration to another - a conversion could be done in well under a day.

April 1: So is this an April Fools joke? No updates for two weeks? Well, I wish. On the weekend of March 18/19, I was scheduled to follow my football team for a game. It was going to take up a fair chunk of my weekend, so the night before, I did some preparatory work on my computer. I get up to close a window and my computer shuts off. I tried restarting it, but it would only come on for a moment and then switch back off. I thought to myself "I must be having problems with my CPU cooler staying attached to my CPU. This has happened before, I'll fix it after my game." So I get home from my game, and start trying to reattach the CPU cooler. I do that, try running the computer, and the same thing happens. I spend the next week and a bit trying to fix the problem, still pretty sure it's a connection problem with my CPU cooler but nothing seems to work. I isolation tested every other component I could, all worked fine. Come March 30, I'm in tears struggling mentally with why this isn't working properly. That day I had to travel near to where my computer part supplier is located. I weigh up replacing the whole CPU/Motherboard/Cooler in one swoop - to get a proper one would have cost $1400. I trusted my intuition - that the CPU and motherboard worked fine and the issue was with the cooler - and just bought a CPU cooler. I figure it's just an $80 gamble, if I am right, I save over $1000. So I pick up the CPU cooler, and the next day, install and test it. It works! I leave the computer running for five minutes to make sure, then switch it off and lay down and cry - I'd finally f***ing fixed it!

While this had all been going on, I'd been keeping up on the progress of the site model. The organiser was having issues getting it completed, and asked if anyone could help out. As soon as I got my computer back, I messaged him and offered my services. He responded, happy, and I got to work on the site buildings. This is the heritage-listed Hydraulic building, located on the site. I also modelled the Victoria Clock Tower, the Bramley-Moore walls and entry, and redesigned the surrounding roads and buildings to better reflect the new vision for the area.

April 2: With the hydraulic building completed, I turned my efforts back to my own stadium. Unfortunately, at this point I was two weeks behind where I wanted to be. As you'll see later on, this caused me a number of problems as I worked hurriedly to catch up. This was designed to be the southern stand - located opposite the main stand. As you'll see very soon, sometimes plans change...

April 4: The completion of my work on the site model. The Victoria Clock Tower is visible on the right, with the hydraulic building to the left. The redesigned buildings are lifted directly from the designs in the Liverpool Waters project, which encompasses this site. They were literally the buildings located on Bramley-Moore Dock, just moved the other side of the wall. I also modelled the Titanic Hotel, to the right of the new buildings.

April 5: I worked quickly on the site structure. The main stand was modelled, as well as corporate boxes. The end stand was added - this was designed to massively increase the capacity in one hit. It's modelled in a similar style to the Kop just up the road, but it's slightly bigger. I know how much the Everton fans would enjoy that - that they have a bigger home stand than the club down the road that's famous for it! Additionally, it really creates an intimidating atmosphere, with a huge number of fans looking down over the pitch.

April 5: A more in-depth look at the trusses. This is the primary roof support system. The trusses were inspired by those at San Francisco Intl Airport - I had to model those a month before the competition started and thought they would be nice in the new stadium. Lighting was affixed to the inside of the trusses, with most of the lighting located along the two ends. This was because of the large home end - I wanted the lighting to be more even for athletics. Having the lighting at the ends meant that it lit the area underneath the home stand better.

April 8: A lot going on in this picture. You can see the entrance tunnel located in the corner - I wanted the players walking out onto the pitch having to face the home end. That would be an intimidating sight! The structure around the entrance tunnel is a replica of part of the walls around the stadium. The lighting is installed and in effect - I opted for LED lighting, similar to the system installed at Stamford Bridge. The reason I chose that is because I watched a game at Stamford Bridge as I installed the lights and thought "that's neat!", Sometimes design decisions are that simple, sorry to say!

I also had a fair part of the outer structure of the site installed. For many years I've wanted to work on a harbourside stadium shaped like a ship. If you look at the profile of a stadium, many of them have the basic shape of a boat - just add two triangles at the end and you've got the basic form. I originally planned to make a design like this for my team, Portsmouth FC, years ago but never got around to it. So when I found out that Bramley-Moore Docks would be the site, I had to use this idea. It's a neat little callback to the past site usage. I also designed the stadium with a retracting wall at the western end of the stadium. This could be opened up, providing a view out over the River Mersey. That's a big part of the reason why there isn't a second tier at that end - but soon enough, there would be something else there...

Very sorry everyone that this update lacks as many pictures. It's mostly text. I wanted to tell more of the stories associated with the project as there weren't as many progress renders this time around. Future updates will get back up to the 12-15 pictures per post of the previous diary.

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