This is the first in a series of posts looking at the progress of the construction for the three new stadiums being built in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.
Green Point Stadium, Cape Town
The stadium under construction is located in Green Point, between Signal Hill and the Atlantic Ocean and close to Cape Town’s city centre. Its backdrop will be the spectacular Table Mountain. Green Point Stadium will host eight games at the 2010 World Cup, including a semi-final, and will have a capacity of 68,000 at a cost of R3 billion (approx. $400M). It is being constructed on the site of the now demolished old Green Point Stadium, an 18,000 capacity stadium home to both Santos Football Club and Ajax Cape Town.
Architectural design was led by Robert Hormes of German firm GMP Architects (the firm responsible for Berlin’s 2006 World Cup stadium), working with local architects Louis Karol and Point. Construction of the stadium began on March 26, 2007.
Lead architect Robert Hormes found himself in the middle of considerable controversy over the stadium when he arrived in Cape Town, admitting to the Cape Argus in 2008 that “I had sleepless nights about whether it was the right building for the space.”
Many were concerned that the sheer size of the stadium would overwhelm the picturesque surroundings, at the waterfront and with the Table Mountain as a backdrop. Hormes’ solution was a curved design and greyish tinge with a low-hanging roof, intended to keep the building from dominating the city’s skyline. Hormes added, “We said the only straight line in Cape Town is Table Mountain so we didn’t want to create a box-shape. We needed a curve and something light to reflect the city’s attitude to life.”
Though the slow pace of early construction caused concern, progress has moved swiftly in the past year.
According to the Cape Business News, major concrete work has now been completed at the stadium. The roof is anticipated to be finished by September, and the contractors are on schedule to complete the stadium by December. 13,000 seats in the third tier will be removed post-World Cup, leaving the stadium with 55,000 seats.