Euro Experience Tour

Location: Austria and Switzerland | Year: 2008 | Size: 47m x 27m



The project involved the design and construction of an 800 sq.m. (8,600 sq.ft.) inflatable structure to serve as a portable venue for the promotion of the Euro 2008 football tournament in Austria and Switzerland.

Commissioned by UEFA, the tour involved visiting 13 cities in Austria and Switzerland over a five month period running up to the tournament final in June, 2008.

The Brief

We were approached by the client who wanted to provide a venue incorporating a multimedia cinema capable of seating over 200 people along with an interactive zone where fans could have their picture taken with the original Henri Delaunay football trophy in addition to playing video games and viewing memorabilia from the previous 12 UEFA football championships.

The problem the client had was that they could not find venues of sufficient size in each of the 13 cities on the dates required. They therefore concluded that some form of temporary structure would be required at each location.

Given the tight schedule and limited resources for the tour, the structure would have to be erected at each location in just four hours with a small crew. The structure also needed to be visually exciting and reflect the brand identity of the tournament. Conventional portable structures had already been eliminated as they could not be installed in time and could not provide the visual impact required.

Our Solution

Tectoniks solution was to provide a revolutionary inflatable building, the largest of its kind in the world. The building was made up of two domes connected by a sweeping tunnel and measured 47m long by 27m wide by 11m high. The larger of the two domes contained the multimedia cinema and the smaller dome housed the interactive zone.

Being the largest structure of its kind ever created, we had to go back to first principles and devise new methods for calculating and analysing the loads present in such inflatable structures. The analysis had to take into account not only the loads created by the weight of the structure itself and the loads due to the internal air pressure, but also the loads imposed on the structure due to wind, rain, snow and ice.

The unique shape of the structure also meant that there was no repetition of patterns at any point. We modified our own patterning software to further automate the creation of cutting patterns which included the addition of the automatic labelling of each pattern with unique identification numbers and assembly marks relating to the proprietary construction methods used for our structures.

Another challenge was that the client wanted the structure to carry a large amount of branding which could be replaced when the structure is used in the future for other promotional tours. The solution was to provide two huge digitally printed circular banners to cover the caps of the two domes in addition to smaller printed banners around the sides of the structure. The banners had to be patterned to follow the contours of the structure exactly so as to give the effect that the artwork had been applied permanently to the structure itself. The banners totalled over 350 sq.m. (3760 sq.ft.).

The Outcome

The tour visited all 13 cities and over 100,000 visitors passed through the doors. UEFA hailed the tour as a great success. UEFA President, Michel Platini, commented that the tour was “groundbreaking in its size, technology and its ability to bring a wonderful football experience to thousands of football fans.”

Tectoniks went on to supply further inflatable structures for UEFA, serving as the focal points of the fan zones in Moscow, Rome and Madrid for the Champions League football finals in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

"groundbreaking in its size, technology and its ability to bring a wonderful football experience to thousands of football fans."
Michel Platini
UEFA President


IFAI Outstanding Achievement Award logo

2012 Event Production Awards Finalist - Best Structure Company

Images of this project on Flickr

Euro Experience Tour