Greece venue closed over ‘unsafe’ roof


Olympic Stadium in Athens temporarily closed amid safety concerns Image:

The stadium designed to host the 2004 Athens Olympics in Greece – the Olympic Stadium of Athens – has been temporarily closed over concerns that its roof is “unsafe”.

‘’ stated that designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the roof of Greece’s main Olympic Stadium has failed recent safety tests, forcing the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund S.A. (TAIPED), the State’s asset utilization fund, to close the stadium until further notice.

The 69,618-capacity Olympic Stadium of Athens ‘Spyros Louis’ is a sports stadium in Marousi, in the North section of Athens, Greece. It is a part of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex and is named after the first modern Olympic marathon gold medalist in 1896, Spyros Louis.

Santiago Calatrava Valls is a Spanish architect, structural engineer, sculptor and painter, particularly known for his bridges supported by single leaning pylons, and his railway stations, stadiums and museums, whose sculptural forms often resemble living organisms.

Athens (Greece)-based the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund S.A. or TAIPED is a direct subsidiary of the Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations. TAIPED exploits the assets of Greece that have been assigned to it and manages the implementation of the privatization program in Greece, and in specific, the implementation of the Asset Development Plan ‘ADP’.

‘’ further stated that a TAIPED study found the metal structures in the roof fell short of the minimum static adequacy levels.

An investigation has been ordered by Athens into what the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations were and whether they have been followed since Calatrava’s renovation work.

The Olympic Athletic Center of Athens (OACA) was first built in 1982 and hosted the Mediterranean Games in 1991 and the World Championship in Athletics in 1997.

In the run-up to Athens hosting the Summer Olympics in 2004, the OACA was fully renovated to include its stadium with the famous roof design including bent leaves of laminated glass.

The Olympic Athletic Center of Athens Spiros Louis, or OACA, is a sport facilities complex located at Marousi (City in Greece) in the North section of the City. The complex consists of five major venues as well as other supplementary sport facilities, the main one being the Olympic Stadium of Athens.

According to the TAIPED study, it is believed that the structural problems are not rooted in Calatrava’s design but in a failure to maintain the roof according to provided recommendations.

Experts said that they believe these recommendations were “deemed too costly”.

Public concerns over the stadium were first raised when oscillations were visible on the structure’s upper body during a football match between the Greek professional football club AEK Athens F.C. and the Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich (Germany) in 2019.

The TAIPED sent out a statement which read, “Based on the above and with a sense of responsibility, every sporting and cultural activity in the Central Stadium and the Cycling Track is suspended as of today (October 3rd). A second study will quickly follow in order to investigate more thoroughly and to confirm or not the elements of the current study. We share the [frustration from the] disruption in the sports family, but it is understandable that we must operate with the sole aim of the safety of the athletes and the fans.”

The current budget for renovations to the OACA is already around €56.5 million.

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