The project is part of work undertaken by Light Earth Designs for the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation over a 5-year period on how Rwanda can transition from an agriculture-based economy to development using local labor-intensive construction techniques, thereby avoiding imports, lowering carbon, and building skills and economies. The primary enclosure of the cricket stadium, the vaults, adapts ancient Mediterranean tile-vaulting (using compressed soil-cement tiles) to a moderate seismic context by using geogrid reinforcing in the layers and bearing the springing points of the curved vaults on the ground. The vaults follow the natural resolution of forces toward the ground, closely mimicking the parabolic geometry of a bouncing ball and evoking the cherished hilly topography of Rwanda. The masonry vaults are completely in compression allowing the use of a simply layered thin shell composite of low strength tiles. The tiles are produced on site from the local soil by low skilled and skilled locals - hydraulically pressed with a small addition of cement and do not require firing. They are laid in layers onto a temporary timber skeleton which spans up to 16m. Geogrid is added to give some seismic protection, developed by research in architecture and engineering at Cambridge University. The shells are waterproofed then topped with local broken granite, blending into the natural palate while the granite adds weight and stability. Simple, efficient and thin concrete tables are inserted into the vaults, providing space for the more enclosed functions: the service areas, the changing rooms, an office and a restaurant.
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