Addis Ababa is set to have a new national stadium and sports village after international architecture firm LAVA won a competition run by the Federal Sport Commission of Ethiopia.
LAVA, a firm with offices in Sydney, Shanghai, Stuttgart and Abu Dhabi, collaborated with Australian firm Designsport and Ethiopian firm JDAW Consulting Architects and Engineers on the design for a new sixty thousand-seat stadium.
The masterplan includes an International Olympic Committee-standard stadium for FIFA matches, athletics events, concerts, and religious and national festivals; and a sports village comprising indoor and outdoor aquatic centres, outdoor pitches, sports halls and arenas, dormitories and the headquarters for the Federal Sport Commission of Ethiopia. Hospitality, retail and commercial zones will ensure that the precinct is vibrant throughout the year.
Chris Bosse, director of LAVA’s Asia Pacific office in Sydney, said the design tapped into “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, minimizes construction costs and integrates facilities within the existing landscape,” he said.
Daniel Assefa, director of JDAW, said 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,” he said.
The design responds to the volcanic geology of the region. Gently undulating urban parkland follows the lines of the crater and large solar-powered umbrellas provide shade and shelter. Pedestrian-activated light and water features appear as fissures in the ground surface, providing wayfinding and creating animated artworks.
Construction of the stadium is expected to commence in 2014.