McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield

The McAlpine Stadium, home of soccer and rugby league in Huddersfield won the RIBA building of the year award in 1993. Each of the four stands includes a banana shaped three-dimensional truss spanning either the length or the width of the pitch which supports the main roof beams.

The roof beams running from the rear of the seating towards the pitch have circular cut outs in their webs. This reduces weight in the lightly stressed web and adds interest. The diagonal wind bracing maintains the whole structure stable against the high winds which occur frequently in this Pennine valley.

Where the main truss takes the load from the roof beams, the circles have been left in place to enhance shear resistance. Also, note how the roof beams are tapered towards the pitch. This is in keeping with the reduction in bending moment and shear force towards the tip of the cantilever.

The main truss beams are supported on reinforced concrete substructures at the corners of the pitch. The substructures are supported on piles which are raked to accommodate the main thrust from the beams. This has the disadvantage of preventing spectators from occupying the corners but adds to the structural interest.