This summer’s international celebration of the football World Cup in South Africa featured the implementation of innovative roofing and façade designs for the soccer stadiums to enhance the character of the venues while providing fans with an unobstructed view of the games.
The Green Point Stadium in Cape Town and “Soccer City” stadium in Johannesburg were created using a special roofing membrane consisting of coated glass fabric. The solution is lighter than rigidly structured alternatives such as glass, provides flexible design options, and allows for a lack of support structures so that all spectators gain a full view of the game. The design is also intended for low maintenance and longevity.
The Johannesburg stadium, where Nelson Mandela called for a unified South Africa in front of 100,000 in 1990, has been renovated to reflect traditional African calabash pottery. A mosaic of earthen colors is lit by night to resemble a fire in the massive African pot. Inside, 95,000 spectators are able to enjoy unrestricted viewing.
Green Point Stadium lies near the coast in Cape Town, where the PTFE-coated silver mesh glass fabric roof of the stadium sweeps under the backdrop of Table Mountain. The stadium seats 68,000 spectators within a bowl that seems to stretch at its ends, providing a unique architectural experience.
Both stadiums will continue to be used after this summer’s festivities for soccer and rugby.