photographer: Boogertman + Partners in partnership with Populous
By April 2010, 80 000 cubic metres of concrete had been poured, 9000 tons of reinforcing steel had been placed and 8000 tons of structural steel had 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, have resulted in Soccer City being transformed into one of the most striking, impressive and well-equipped stadiums in the world. The 88958 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 colours and textures provide a gradient of colour with darker colours at the bottom of the facade to a sandy colour at the top linking to the roof membrane colour. This is reminiscent of the firing process when making an African clay pot. The pot is punctured by open or glazed panels that suggest pattern on the façade. The pattern comes into its own when the inside volumes are illuminated at night. 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 concrete structure extends to fourteen meters above the podium level from where the structure extends in structural steel up to the spacial ring truss.
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 PTFE 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 tension 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.
Design team: Bob van Bebber Project Director & Principal architect Boogertman + Partners
Piet Boer Director & Project Architect Boogertman + Partners
Damon Lavelle Principal Populous
Desrae Fanucci Architect Boogertman + Partners
Tshego Moiloa Architect Boogertman + Partners
August De Wet Industrial designer Boogertman + Partners
Client: Johannesburg City Council