South Africa World Cup 2010: Moses Mabhida Stadium / gmp architekten

South Africa World Cup 2010: Moses Mabhida Stadium / gmp architekten
South Africa World Cup 2010: Moses Mabhida Stadium / gmp architekten - Image 1 of 10
©gmp – von Gerkan, Marg und Partner Architects, Berlin / Photo by: Marcus Bredt

Almost six months till the 2010 South Africa World Cup kicks off. A while ago, we told you we’ll be featuring the stadiums that will host this huge competition. We started with Soccer City Stadium, designed by Boogertman Urban Edge and Partners in partnership with Populous. This week, we’ll be featuring three stadiums designed by gmp architekten. We’ll start with the Moses Mabhida Stadium, in the city of Durban. The stadium was also designed by Theunissen Jankowitz Durban, Ambro-Afrique Consultants, Osmond Lange Architects & Planners, NSM Designs, and Mthulisi Msimang.

More images and architect’s description after the break.

Situated on a raised platform, the multifunctional stadium is accessed from the south via a broad flight of steps. A 104m (two-pronged) arch curves high over the stadium as an emblem, visible far and wide. The main entrance at the end of a 2.5 km linear park coincides with the bifurcation of the arch, as a gateway to the city.

A cable car at the northern end leads to the Skywalk at the apex of the arch. From here, visitors can enjoy a spectacular view over the city and the Indian Ocean. As a distinctive feature, the arch, gives the stadium its unique silhouette, while as a landmark it forms an imposing part of the skyline of Durban.

The geometry of the roof is predetermined by the architectural concept. Between the strong compression ring of the stadium bowl and the arch, a series of radial cables are clamped on the inner edge of the roof so as to make the tension ring almond-shaped. The PTFE-coated membrane of the roof allows 50% of the light through the surface while providing protection against glare and rain. The façade of open lamellae, which follows the undulations in the volume of the stadium, screens the encircling walkway from the sun and the frequent bouts of wind while permitting a free view outwards. The outer skin is in effect a geometrical overlay of a cone imposed on a cylinder, making a walk round the circuit of the stadium a interesting event, with the angle of the rising facades changing as you progress.

The maximum capacity of the stadium for the 2010 World Cup has been set at 70,000 spectators distributed over three tiers. After the World Cup, the number of seats will be reduced to 56,000, but can be temporarily increased to up to 85,000 for major events.

The requirements for a possible staging of the Commonwealth Games or Olympic Games are fulfilled. The new stadium with its sorrounding green areas for sports, leisure and cultural activities and social uses will develop into the focus of an attractive urban area and establish itself as a high-quality venue for sports events in South Africa.

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Cite: Sebastian Jordana. "South Africa World Cup 2010: Moses Mabhida Stadium / gmp architekten" 04 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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