With sustainable design features, maximum flexibility and capacity, and intelligent adaptability, the new facilities will make a valuable contribution to the local people, the nation and its culture, enhancing Ethiopia’s sporting profile and generating revenue.
The concept goes back to the very origin of stadium design with a sunken arena surrounded by grandstands formed from excavated material. This man-made crater is a clever remodelling of the existing terrain and generates efficient spaces, optimises environmental performance, minimises construction costs and integrates facilities within the existing landscape. ”
The design references Ethiopia’s world-famous excavated architecture – centuries old rock churches, dwellings and cisterns. We see the sports city as a natural extension to this heritage, one that will draw many more visitors to our beautiful country.
The Massob, an Ethiopian communal serving basket made from woven grass, inspired the façade material that wraps the stadium. The form of the stadium structure seen from the top view also recalls coffee beans, the main source of income in Ethiopia and the ‘Mother womb’, the skeleton of one of the first humans, Lucy, which is about 3.2 million years old.
The roof of the stadium, an intelligent membrane, appears like a cloud on the horizon of the vast Ethiopian sky, a lightweight tensile structure floating over the formed-earth landscape.
Tectonic structures and movement are the underlying concept for the masterplan. The breathtaking beauty of the surrounding Entoto Hills is the backdrop to a design that responds to the volcanic geology of the region. Gently undulating urban parkland follows the lines of the crater and is conceived as a continuous spatial experience strategically activated to balance movement, climate, experience and efficiency. A central plaza forms the heart of the project and a ridge connects all zones.
Giant solar powered umbrellas provide shade and shelter whilst pedestrian activated light and water features appear as fissures in the ground surface, providing way finding and creating animated art works.
The construction of the stadium is expected to commence in 2020.