South Africa World Cup 2010: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium / gmp architekten

©gmp – von Gerkan, Marg und Partner Architects, Berlin / Photo by: Marcus Bredt

The Nelson Mandela Bay Multi-Purpose Stadium located in Port Elizabeth is the third stadium designed by gmp architekten for ’s . It will host eight games, including the 3rd and 4th place match. Check our recently featured stadiums by gmp architekten (Moses Mabhida Stadium / Greenpoint Stadium), and decide which one you like the most!

More images and architect’s description after the break.

Designed as a football and rugby stadium, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is located beside North End Lake with terraces and hills in the middle of Prince Alfred’s Park.

The stadium is set in the surrounding area as a landmark building, rising from the edge of the lake like a flower. Located right beside the lake, the building is reflected in the water and forms a unique vista.

The silhouette of the stadium indicates the clear design of the structural members. They form a colonnaded walkway that encloses the whole stadium. The glazed lounge level forms the horizontal termination of the colonnades. The leaf-shaped roof components, the tips of which extend as far as the floor at lounge level, float above this ring and round the picture off.

The roof structure is oriented to local climate conditions and protects spectators not only against the sun but also (and particularly) against frequent, violent onshore winds. The protection takes the form of aluminum caldding carried on triangulated trusses with white PTFE membrane surfaces in the interstices. All technical facilities such as the sound system and lighting, and also the maintenance walkway, are integrated into the roof.

The stadium is designed for 48,000 spectators divided into an upper and a lower level. The rounded design of the stands provides optimum viewing conditions and guarantees an intimate, emotional atmosphere.

The design takes account not only of function, technical and climatic aspects but also cultural considerations as well. The façade, which is at the rear of the colonnading, is being finished by local African craftsmen to give a 700m-wide exhibition of traditional and modern African culture.

The construction of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium offers an opportunity to provide Port Elizabeth with a high-quality sports facility that will revitalize the whole urban area. The aim of the design is to encourage maximum use after the World Cup. All the press areas of the stadium can be turned into offices and leisure facilities. An open area will be created between the stadium and the sea offering water-based recreation. Along with the sports and leisure clubs in Port Elizabeth that will use the stadium on a daily basis, the area around Prince Alfred’s Park will develop into an excursion destination.

Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "South Africa World Cup 2010: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium / gmp architekten" 05 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
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    South Africa World Cup 2010: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium / gmp architekten

  • Dustin

    Nice stadium, all three stadiums are nice. I am wondering though, recently there are a lot of great iconic olympic stadiums whenever the olympics come around, but usually world cup stadiums are just nice. Nothing memorable about them. Why is this?

    • alex

      It will only be hosting 8 games for one month in 2010. There is no need to build a ‘bird’s nest’ style stadium here. It’s a decent, inoffensive looking stadium with some architectural interest but the main focus is on meeting FIFA’s stadia requirements… which it has done. I prefer the one at Cape Town.


    Wonder what the budget was for this…

  • ioan

    one word: aerial perspective

    • kptemp

      I agree completely, but would just like to point out that that’s two words.

  • Nicholas Patten

    South Africa World Cup 2010: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

  • WPstudios

    RT @nicholaspatten South Africa World Cup 2010: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

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  • sketchup

    еще один стадион чемпионата мира по футболу 2010 года – стадион им. Нельсона Манделы

  • Cahiers du football

    CM2010 : Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium de Port Elizabeth, 48.000 places –

  • Hannibalgamer

    RT @cahiersdufoot: CM2010 : Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium de Port Elizabeth, 48.000 places –

  • Jan Herzog
  • João B

    just wondering why the same office was responsible for these 3 stadium projects… btw, I liked them…

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    Take a closer look at South Africa World Cup 2010 stadium here via @archdaily:

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  • Carlos Rosas

    les presento el Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium de gmp architekten, donde hoy #chi seguro hará historia (vía @archdaily)

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