08 October 2009

The Mbombela Stadium

Up country, in South Africa's Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces we find what can probably be described as 'typical' South Africa. When foreigners envisage SA, what do they think of? More than likely, they think of wide open bushveld expanses. They think of savanna and the big 5. There are 2 stadia in this setting, The Peter Mokaba Complex and The Mbombela Stadium. It is therefore fitting that both of these masterpieces have strong African design concepts.

I focused on the Peter Mokaba Complex in my previous post. Today, I focus on the next 'African' stadium, the Mbombela Stadium of Nelspruit. This stadium, I must confess, is one of my personal favourites. It is a perfect rugby and football venue. It has all the luxuries of any state of the art stadium including: Multiple suites and press boxes, changing rooms, 2 big screens, 44 000 seats etc. What amazes about this build is the ability of the architects and engineers to entwine African design features with a beautiful, modern, fully functional, world class venue. For example: The stunning giraffe figures may, to the layman, seem like an ornamental tie-in to the nearby Kruger National Park. Yet this giraffe structure is imperative to the stadium. The neck holds in place the cantilever roof, the back holds up the second tier, while the front and back legs add support for the roof and second tier. A merger between functionality and African architecture that takes the breath away.

Other African tie-ins are: Zebra stripe patterned seats and multi-coloured walls, many with Ndebele design patterns. All this culminates in a great, intimate venue, in which spectators are close to the action and can feast on the great footballers about to grace our shores.

All pictures courtesy, Levi Guimaraes, Flickr.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its is lovely, good work