Soccer City, National Stadium - 'The Melting Pot'

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Soccer City, National Stadium - 'The Melting Pot'

The architecture of Soccer City represents a regional approach aimed to integrate the urban context of Johannesburg , its society and the historical mining industry along with African culture as a whole. The main form, inspired by the traditional African calabash, results in a stadium form that is immediately recognisable as being African. This form is used as a layering device and it enables an overall spherical form to emerge which informs the spatial quality of the intermediate spaces between the exterior skin and that of the seating bowl. The layered facade results from an overlay of several ordering devices and patterning ideas and is alternatively made up of open or glazed panels, and fibre-reinforced concrete panels utilising 8 colours and 2 different textures. Ten vertical facade slots are aligned geographically with the nine other South African 2010 stadia as well as the Berlin stadium. These are representative of the road to the final, and it is envisaged that after the World Cup, the scores of each game at each venue will be placed in pre-cast concrete panels on the podium. During the day the gradations of colour are representative of the African earth gradually fading to the upper reaches of the stadium where the lighter colours are representative of the mine dumps and the mining history. At night, the pattern becomes inverted and is representative of the history of pattern making and its significance within African culture. The stadium is made up of 3 tiers, lower embankment, upper embankment, 2 skybox or suite levels, and the upper tier. The lower embankment and the upper embankment are accessed off the main lower concourse. The skybox levels and the upper tier are accessed via the 8 three dimensional ramp structures that have been built inside the façade of the calabash. The skyboxes are also accessed via dedicated VIP entrance located in each of the four corners of the stadium with access directly off the podium level. These entrances have lift and stair access up to the suite levels with reception and secondary turnstiles. The access on the upper levels open up into business lounge facilities before access is gained to the secure skybox concourses. The upper roof is viewed as an extension of the facade and is cantilevered from a triangular spatial ring truss that is covered by a PTFE membrane

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