Project Details

Client: Private
Category: Stadiums
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Architect: ACG, GAPP
Completed: 1996


In 1995 Cape Town accepted the invitation to host, the qualifying tournament for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games Women’s Hockey. To host the qualifying tournament for the 1996 Atlanta, a new stadium seating 2 000 spectators with changerooms, offices and reception rooms below had to be completed within 10 months. Two independent structures were provided. The stadium seating rest on pile foundations, while the first floor offices and reception rooms below, founded on a structural raft. Precast “raker beams” support precast concrete T-beams to which seating is fixed.

These bear on reinforced concrete corbels cantilevering from concrete columns supported by the piled foundation. The columns protrude above the seating level to support the roof structure, which consists of a system of booms held in position with tie-rods to provide anchor points in space for the membrane roof. Apart from the row of anchor points along its front and back edges, the membrane roof shape is also defined by pull-down points directly above the rear columns and push-up points near the front edge of the roof.

The four light masts do not cantilever from the base at ground level, but are each held upright by six tie-rods. The two masts adjacent to the stadium also provide the anchor points for horizontally stressing the front and rear edges of the roof membrane. Transparency was an important consideration in the design of the building, with the structural grid forming an important part of the aesthetic, rather than being hidden behind walls or finishes.

Care was taken to differentiate between the aesthetic qualities and appearance of the different materials being used, so that each clearly demonstrates its nature and function. The membrane roof floats lightly above the entire stadium, with a continuous, slightly amorphous form which serves to give the stadium a sense of coherence.

The lighting masts and the steelwork supporting the membrane are designed to be delicate, yet with boldly crafted joints and connections. A concerted effort was made to create and use a family of details that were similar on the various steel elements such as the roof and light masts.

Awards Won

Fulton Commendation for Excellence in the Use of Concrete 1998

Winner of South African Steel Construction Awards 1996

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