Sports are an integral part of human life and their practice is a common pleasure among people all over the world. Once nature does not provide the required climate conditions for that to happen, humans can take action. Based on that concept, a consortium of three Dutch companies (Zwarts & Jansma Architects, Royal HaskoningDHV, and Polyned) presents a sharp, cool and innovative idea that can facilitate sport’s industry in desert-covered areas; the Shaded Dome.

A smart, cool & adaptable facility for sport venues

The Shaded Dome is a semi-permanent facility, comprised of an air-supported dome excluding any internal supports. A very light and highly resistant outer fabric tent (the Shade) covers it, transforming it into an astonishing state-of-the-art building. A grid of cavity struts links the two layers, creating a peripheral structural system that supports the whole structure. A pleasant internal microclimate is enabled by a constant natural airflow between the dome and the shade together with the use of a custom made combination of several membrane materials. This passive design element provides protection from extreme climatological conditions like solar radiation, wind, high air temperature, humidity and precipitation.

An easy to build, quick and fit-for-purpose solution

The first real-scale models are already under development and the results are extremely encouraging. The current tests show an almost 20C temperature decline between the dome’s skins, reducing consequently the need for high demanding cooling systems. Next to that the Shaded Dome requires limited transport volume, and can be constructed and dismantled in a matter of days. Thus, the preponderant fabrication plan promotes the sources’ economy, the efficient materials’ use, the reusability of the product and the self-support of its energy needs, highlighting that way a new concept on the asset management of future sport infrastructure. Moving into an era where the need for dynamic constructions is becoming more and more intense, the Shaded Dome can constitute an easy to build, quick and fit-for-purpose solution which can efficiently meet any sport infrastructure requirements.

The purpose of this paper is to describe the way the aforementioned climate control can be achieved and to reveal some of the architectural, structural and sustainability details that make the Shaded Dome unique.

Authors: Jack Bakker (ZJA), Mart Hinssen (Royal HaskoningDHV), Inge Bosveld (Royal HaskoningDHV), Thijs Huijsmans (Royal HaskoningDHV)

Read the full paper: The Shaded Dome: A smart, cool & adaptable facility for sport venues (pdf)