Sep 18, 2009
Kudos for ‘awe-inspiring’ steel-construction work at World Cup stadiumsBack
© Reuse this
The iconic stadium, named after the late trade unionist and former general secretary of the South African Communist Party, was hailed by the judges as “a formidable and awe-inspiring work of genius, of which South Africans and the world will be proud for generations to come”.
As with most iconic stadiums, the central engineering and aesthe- tic element of the Moses Mabhida stadium is its roof structure, which consists of five structural elements, including a major steel arch, supporting cables, a membrane roof and a steel compression ring resting on steel columns.
The 350-m-long and 106-m- high free-span arch, consisting of 56,5-m × 5-m steel hollow boxes and weighing 3 500 t, was fabricated in Germany and shipped to Durban in sections. The magni- tude of this arch is such that a cable car will carry visitors up the middle of it, to a viewing platform on its north side, while the south side will have a 550-step adventure walk.
The compression ring, the structure to which the roof elements are linked, is supported on a series of vertical and inclined structural steel façade columns comprising 102 boxes fabricated from steel plate.
Repeated testing was a major feature of this project and, to achieve the required accuracy for the complex geometry, four compression-ring elements were bolted together in a trial assembly simulating the unstressed geometry. “The fastidious attention to detail and the meticulous testing thereof were a major part of this project’s success,” noted the judges.
Another stadium that received accolades at the Steel Awards ceremony was the winner of the specially added Sports Stadiums category, Soccer City, the flagship venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“It represents a true African aesthetic, combines outstanding steel, concrete and tensile materials that complement each other superbly,” said the judges of the stadium situated just outside Soweto.
“This, in combination with the erection of 28 000-m² fibre-reinforced façade panels and 54 000 m² of polytetrafluoroethy- lene roof and ceiling membranes onto a complex three-dimensional double curvature steel structure, has resulted in this stadium being transformed into one of the most striking, impressive and well-equipped stadiums in the world,” said the judges.
Like the Moses Mabhida stadium, the roof of Soccer City is its most important and interesting element. The roof showcases the flexibility of steel through its curved shapes and radial arches, which form the central design element, dubbed ‘the calabash’.
“The calabash was a most appropriate choice for the shape of the showpiece of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The integu- ment is defined by earthy African colours and an almost animal hide-like tightness, while inside, the stadium springs powerfully to life,” the judges commented.
“From a steel perspective, the deep overhanging roof and capacious circulation spaces are testament to the ability of steel to span large distances. If sports stadiums are the cathedrals of this age, then steel has contributed much to that sensation,” said the judges. “The sheer enormity of this project and its success as a symbol of Africa will boost the image of South African skill and expertise for generations to come.”
SAISC executive director Dr Hennie de Clercq said that the entries, a record number this year, reflected the outstand- ing quality of the local steel construction industry in all its diversity.
“We congratulate the winners but emphasise the exceptional quality of all the entries, which augur so well for the future of our industry,” he concluded.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
Other Construction News
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
The BMW Group will invest R6-billion at BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) Rosslyn plant to produce the next-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle (SAV) for the local and export markets. Rosslyn will continue production of the current 3 Series through its lifecycle,...
The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions on the part of contractors remains a significant hurdle to tackling South Africa’s service delivery challenges, delegates heard at the Consulting Engineers South Africa Infrastructure Indaba, on...
City of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele earlier this month officially named the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Harambee.
About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
Effective logistics, import/export and manufacturing consulting services require detailed industry knowledge and experience, but can add significant value to these industries by providing expert advice on various technical elements in their value chains, says...