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Interview with Eloy Suarez, the architect who writes the history of Cameroon

Eloy Suarez is in charge of the design of the Olembe Sports Complex and he is the Tecxhnical Office Manager in Gruppo Piccini. Graduated in architecture in Rome, he worked with the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano before creating his architectural office with his father Hernando and his brother Stefano, both architects with a long experience in the field of prefabrication and industrial design.
He realised many projects especially in the field of sports facilities architecture.
Among his signature achievements are the Juventus stadium, the renovation of the Rome Olympic stadium for the Champions League final in 2009, and the Rome bid for the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games.
We met him in Olembé to explain us how he works on Olembe’s project.

You have been chosen as architect of this gigantic project. What is the source of your inspiration?
Football in Cameroon is a tradition. That’s why we thought of designing a “home” for the indomitable lion supporters. The image that the structure conveys to the outside is inspired by the values ​​of the Nation: unity, solidity, the strength achieved by the union of its diversity. The multicolored coating is inspired by the concept of protection of the house and reminds the shape of the ancient shields of warriors. The message that transpires is of an inviolable place.
All this of course in a modern design scene with all the comfort and high quality hospitality services.

As the architect of the Complex, are you satisfied with the progress of the work?
We are very satisfied with the progress of the work, despite some initial difficulties, this structure is being erected at an incredible speed. If we go back from January to today, I think it is a real record in terms of performance.  In this, the prefabrication of reinforced concrete and structural steel played a fundamental role, certainly with our tireless construction team that made this possible.

Can we have a technical explanation on the type, quality and kind of prefabricated structural elements used?
The prefabricated structure was designed as a large industrialized system of construction and assembly, we used concrete where it was needed and structural steel where concrete could not reach.
The structure is impressive in its size and dimensions.  The system, although large, is a light system, the roof is suspended by cables, the coating is made of reinforced fiberglass flakes, and even the concrete steps are in their function of the light elements.
The use of prefabricated buildings makes it possible to have infrastructures built with the highest technology available in the market. The prefabricated structural elements have several advantages: a quality and a global control of superior quality; they allow us a greater control of the building site and the speed of manufacture; the prefabricated buildings are respectful of the environment because they consume less energy and do not pollute. Prefabrication makes it possible to achieve high quality levels of the structure that cannot be achieved using traditional insitu construction, both for the quality of the materials and for the finish.
Factory control allows us to avoid many possible errors and inaccuracies of traditional construction methods.
The entire stadium was designed and modeled with a three-dimensional system that starts from the design and is completed by the production itself in the plant.
All parts are defined and produced to the correct dimension and their assembly was simulated and checked by computers in each phase.
In this way, we avoided any mistakes that would have caused delays, since the parts must be transported from Italy.
Cameroonians will soon see the result of what has been designed and must prepare to see the football matches in the most beautiful Stadium of Africa.