Soccer City Stadium, South Africa

By 2010, 80 000 cubic metres of concrete will have been poured, 9000 tons of reinforcing steel would have been placed and 8000 tons of structural steel will have been erected. This, in combination with the moving of approximately 120 000 cubic metres of soil, fine architecture and dedicated efforts in the design offices and on site, will result in Soccer City being transformed into one of the most striking, impressive and well-equipped stadiums in the world.

The ±90 000 seater venue will host both the opening match and the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The existing structural concrete profile of the two suite levels and upper tier were extended all round to encircle the pitch. The existing lower embankment was rebuilt in insitu off-shutter concrete to vastly improve the view lines and comfort of the most popular seats in the house. The upper third of the existing embankment was raised to form a secondary tier on new concrete rakers and pre-cast concrete steppings. The upper embankment and the rebuilt lower embankment are accessible from the lower concourse, which is fed from the podium level. The two suite levels and the upper tier are accessed via 3-dimensional concrete ramp structures that are contained within the façade of the pot. The suite levels also have separate lift and stair lobbies at each corner for secure VIP access.

The pot’s façade is made up of fibre reinforced concrete panels, in a selection of 8 colours and 2 textures that reference the shades and textures of the calabash. The pot is punctured by open or glazed panels that suggest pattern on the façade, which comes into its own when the inside volumes are illuminated. The façade is articulated by 10 vertical slots which are aligned geographically with the 9 other 2010 stadia as well as the Berlin stadium. They are -representative of the road to the final. The calabash façade is supported by inclined off shutter 3 dimensional curved concrete columns which have a horizontal eccentricity of 6.5m in relation to its base. The upper roof, which is cantilevered from an enormous triangular spatial ring truss, is covered by a PTFE membrane in a colour similar to that of mine-dump sand. The bottom of the trusses is covered by a perforated mesh membrane, thus giving the appearance of a smooth under-slung ceiling. The triangular spatial ring truss is supported by twelve, 40 meter high concrete shafts which are subjected to huge tension and compressive forces and consequently have piles which are anchored in the bedrock. The choice of concrete for the bulk of the structure was taken to match with the existing structural profile so as to enable all pre-cast units to be made on site, and to improve on the costs and lead times of a structural steel framework.

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