The AIMAG 2017

Location Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Services Structural engineering  
Sector Lifestyle
Client Balich Worldwide Shows
Imagery © Luca Parisse

Rasti Bartek

T +44 (0)20 7438 1600

The Asian Olympic Committee chose Cundall’s client, Balich Worldwide Shows to produce the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of AIMAG (5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games), the largest event in the Central Asian region, in the Turkmen capital city.  

The Opening Ceremony titled “The Spirit of Turkmenistan” was held at the newly built Ashgabat Olympic Stadium, a 45,000 seat venue located at the centre of the Olympic complex.

The technical design intent for the ceremony’s creative elements was developed by Wonder Works in close collaboration with Balich Worldwide Shows.

Cundall worked on a detailed structural design of two separate cable net systems used to support the central cylindrical grid truss suspended 30m above the field of play, and an aerial flying system used to fly scenery, performers and other items around during the ceremonies.

The first structural cable net system supports the 45t and 30m diameter central cylindrical grid aluminium truss. This cable system consists of ten 36mm diameter spiral strand cables spanning 125m. It is used to support aerial performers and AV equipment, to lift and stabilise large scenery elements and to support a retractable fabric screen for projections including the mechanism allowing it to deploy and retract 30m between the field of play and the truss.

The second system spans 230m and supports moving trolleys and a further four additional spiral strand support cables. Each of the fourteen radial cables supports two traversing trolleys with lifting capacity of 1000kg and maximum traversing and lifting speed of 2m/s. All the cables are suspended from the existing stadium roof, terminating in a central hub.

The design of these cable systems involved complex form-finding analysis, non-linear large displacement analysis, liaison with structural designers of the existing stadium roof and structural verification of the aluminium structure forming the central grid truss.

Particular consideration was given to designing of non-intrusive interfaces with existing structure of the roof considering deviation of the As- Built geometry from the theoretical, tolerances and installation practicality. A full Laser Scan survey of the existing roof was commissioned resulting in 10mm grid point cloud model. Cundall developed parametric scripts to interpolate this data and identify centrelines of steel sections.

Suspended cables spanning 125m were also designed to support a walkway that allowed performers and technical personnel to access the central grid truss during the show and a set of structural cables for the Lighting of the Olympic flame ceremony special effects.

The structural spiral strand cables were fabricated and installed by Pfeifer. The central cylindrical grid truss and aerial flying system including controls and programming were supplied, installed and operated by Stage One.


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