28 September 2008

Bad weather stops play...

It seems that bad weather has halted the erection of the roof. Surprisingly it also seems that parts that were previously assembled on the templates have been removed. There's not much new progress to report on, all in all. It looks like the contractors are going to do things the other way round to what was planned. Previously, it was planned that roof construction would begin in mid to late August but, thanks to a delay in the shipment of roof truss pieces from Kuwait and inclement weather, especially wind, the roof erection has been delayed. So the focus at the moment, with the skeleton structure itself just about finished, is on cosmetic finishing touches i.e. installing the seats, windows, tiles in bathrooms, preparing the executive suites and preparing the pitch. These are hoped to be completed probably by around the end of this year, leaving only the roof to be completed. Let's hope that despite these delays, the stadium can still be declared finished by the end of March, 2009.

The closing gap. The complete first and second tier bowl now formed.

The templates where sections that last time were on them are now on the ground again.

Lake side of the stadium. The white sand on the ground is a track for the massive Kobelco crane (used to lift the roof) to run on.

A closer view of the lake side of the stadium. The window frames are being installed.

The stadium across the lake. Note the massive Kobelco crane on the left.

22 September 2008

Some in depth info on our country's stadia for the 2010 world cup

South Africa 2010. Some may think of this event as a curse where we show just how 3rd world we are. Many believe we'll fail. And this may happen. Bafana may, and most probably will, be knocked out in the first round. Sure, a catastrophe for the success of the tournament. There may be an incident, an attack on a foreigner. These are the perils of being in the international eye. One incident is magnified 1000x because of the focus of the world being on South Africa. This may all happen, but one thing is a given. After the 2010 World Cup we will have some of the best transport, air, hotel and stadium infrastructure in the world. This site's focus is stadia so I will be giving some in depth information on the stadia being built and renovated. All 10 to host 64 world cup matches. Here we go:

Green Point Stadium

Being built from scratch. There was much controversy at the beginning of this stadium's construction. Environmental groups labelled it an eye-sore. Architects had to come up with a design that would be of the least impact to the natural surroundings, they came up with this. A concave roof, bending inwards, glass. The outer facade linking to the down bending roof. Facade covered in a white ETFE membrane. The visual effect of the top of the stadium is that of simplicity and elegance, linking it to the clouds atop table mountain. The wavy motion of the compression ring (what holds the roof in place) above the facade is a beautiful, simplistic image.
The interior, three tiers of seating, 68 000 seats. Each seat having excellent sight lines. Will probably be the best sport viewing stadium in the world when complete.

Watch this video to get a true idea of the spectacular Green Pont Stadium

Moses Mabhida Stadium

Another new stadium. Will probably be the most spectacular looking stadium in the world when complete. The arches are already changing Durban's skyline for good. The white arches, 350m long, 106m high, act as a symbol for unity and the 'y' shape reminds one of the South African flag. The roof, a 46 000 square metre teflon coated glass-fibre membrane. The facade, aluminium cladding around 550 aluminium 'fins'. The interior. 70 000 seats in a 3 tiered bowl. Again excellent sight-lines to view an unforgettable sight

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

The jewel of Port Elizabeth. 36 aluminium roof trusses, cladded with a perforated aluminium membrane. These trusses linked together by the same ETFE memebrane used in Cape Town. Inside, a two tiered bowl of 48 000 seats. Two 12.7x7.2m big screens.

Mbombela Stadium

A new stadium being built outside Nelspruit. The Mbombela Stadium is being built in close proximity to the Kruger National Park, and this inter-relationship is shown by the giraffe roof supports (the neck sticking out above the roof). This is an extremely clever and effective architectural design. The facade is plain and affective. The interior, a two tiered, 46 000 seater bowl covered by a cantilever roof. The stands, close to the action in a rounded rectangular shape. The roof, as you can see is lifted quite high above the stands. This is to accentuate the African, open air feeling. All in all, a truly amazing African stadium.

Peter Mokaba Stadium

The Peter Mokaba Stadium is a new stadium being built in Polokwane, Limpopo province. Again, clever architecture has been used. The 4 large structures in each corner are roof and floodlight supports. They are also a depiction of the baobab tree, a common tree in this part of South Africa. As in the Mbombela Stadium, this is a very apt inter-relationship. Despite having only a grandstand roof (the thinking was that in this area of Africa, not much of a roof would be needed because of the generally great weather) the interior is simple yet effective. 2 tiers in a concave shaped bowl providing excellent sight lines for football and rugby.

Soccer City

The calabash. Another African stadium designed to look like the traditional African calabash pot. 95 000 seats in a 3 tiered bowl with excellent sight lines to watch a world cup final. What more can you ask for

Free State Stadium

Built in Bloemfontein and home to the Free State Cheetahs. A second tier is currently being added to the grand stand. When complete a fully fledged two tiered stadium, seating 46 000 people with stands close to the action.

Ellis Park Stadium

The premier stadium in South Africa and home to Springbok rugby. Has recently had a tier added to the Northern side of the stadium. An extra 5000 seats added. An amazing venue ready for amazing matches.

Loftus Versfeld Stadium

Is currently having a new roof installed aver the main open pavilion. This installation will bring the stadium up to Fifa standards and make it ready to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup. At the moment, seats 51 000 people.

A picture of the stadium before renovation. The roof is currently being lifted into pace on the far open stand.

Royal Bafokeng Stadium

Recent host of a rugby test match between South Africa and New Zealand. Renovations currently underway to extend the seating and add a new roof over the grand stand.

What the stadium will look like when complete

So that lines up the ten host stadia for the 2010 showpiece. I'd say the best ever set of stadia put together for one sporting tournament. Hopefully in a year's time, I'll be showing you finished products rather than renders of what the future will look like. Here's to construction and progress.

18 September 2008

Outside the stadium:

The Kobelco is standing and the roof truss is slowly but surely coming together.The crane standing tall in front of the stadium.
The beginnings of a roof truss.

Stadium seats!!!

Stadium seats have arrived. The red seats of five different shades, manufactured in China are currently being installed at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. This signals the beginning of the finishing touches as the skeleton structure is now practically complete. As seen in our last posts. The Kobelco is up and ready for action. The roof is the last real hurdle for contractors. As can also be seen in the pictures, preparations for the pitch have started in earnest with grass expected to be layed in about November/December. Thereafter, completion of the roof as well as internal finishing touches will take us to that magical date of March 30 when the stadium will be pronounced ready for action.
Organised red goodness. Note the groundworks taking place on the pitch itself. This is for the drainage system.

Here's a great view of the different shades of red used for the seats.

Henry's toilet... (French fan)Looking towards the north, one sees three groups of seats - all of which can be sat on. (if one so wishes)

14 September 2008

Mega Crane: Assembled

The sheer size of the Kobelco CKE 4000c crane can be gauged from this picture taken on 13 September.

The sheer size of  the templates, themselves, is evident in camparison to these two fine gentlemen hard at work, spray-painting part of the girders.  

For those who havn't seen it, here is a view of the entire stadium from accross the lake with the mega crane now visible, but not yet at its full height, on the left.

10 September 2008

Mega Crane: Update

The final components of the mega crane, which will be used to raise the roof trusses into position atop PE's 2010 stadium, have arrived!

Here one can clearly see the winch section of the soon-to-be-assembled mega crane.

Some of the weights (we assume) which will be used to on the 600-ton capacity crane.

In the background can be seen the mobile part of the crane on which the boom will be mounted.

A close-up of the crane's control cabin. Note the tank-like tracks on either side.

The templates (grey) around which the trusses (white) are being assembled. Note the circular shape near the ground in the distance. Presumably this will be lifted onto the template where the rest of the truss will be assembled. There will be 36 trusses in all.

08 September 2008

Stadium construction around the country - 1st update

While we're updating the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, we thought we'd add some pictures of construction progress of new stadia across the country. Here's the first update and expect one approximately once a month.

Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

An image of what the finished product will look like.

Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane

So progress looking good on the Peter Mokaba Stadium as seen in the first pic. The other pics are renders of what the finished product will look like.

Green Point Stadium, Cape Town

The Green Point Stadium is moving swiftly with third tier construction underway. Right above is what the finished product will look like

Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban

Great construction progress on Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium. The arch is rising.

Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg

Soccer City construction underway. This is where the final will be played.