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 South Africa’s World Cup. 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.

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Cite: Sebastian Jordana. "South Africa World Cup 2010: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium / gmp architekten" 05 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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