As Major League Soccer (MLS) continues to grow in popularity in the United States, each league team is seeing an urgent need for building a soccer-specific stadium to provide a proper facility for players and fans alike. A stadium brings a sense of community and delivers iconic architecture in the process. Salt Lake City, Utah, is home to MLS team Real Salt Lake, and its new stadium, Rio Tinto Stadium, is proof of local support and pride.
Structurflex LLC designed, fabricated and built a tensioned membrane system that serves as a prominant architectural feature while also providing protection from the elements and shade for spectators. Inspiration for the roof form comes from two sources: the nearby Wasatch Mountain Range and the human (athletic) body. The final proportions and lines of the roof elevation are akin to the profile of the human spine. Thus the stadium quotes both the professional athletes of the local team and the surrounding landscape.
The roof’s PTFE-coated glass fiber membrane is translucent yet provides shading for the seating. The steel design of the roof structure required an intricate and complex membrane design. Structurflex developed special detailing that reduced installation time and improved fabrication, a time frame of just six weeks.
Working closely with the architect, engineer, construction manager and the owner over the course of two years ensured that Structurflex would deliver an affordable system on time and on budget.