BARCELONA, SPAIN/JOHANNESBURG, SA: Soccer City, designed by Boogertman+Partners, has won the 'World's Best Sport Building' award at the World Architecture Festival Awards (WAF Awards) 2010, which were held earlier this month in Barcelona, Spain. This not SA's first win in these awards, however...
The stadium's design represents a regional approach aimed at integrating the urban context of Jonhannesburg, its society and the historical mining industry along with African culture as a whole and was inspired by the traditional African calabash.
The result is a stadium that is immediately recognisable as being African.
The presentation of the WAF Awards took place during what is claimed to be the biggest global celebration of architecture, the World Architecture Festival, and was chosen by some of the world's most distinguished architects and renowned industry experts, beating off competition from a shortlist of seven entries.
The judges commented how each of the shortlisted projects had to, as a matter of course satisfy the immense technical requirements demanded by world sporting bodies to hold international, regional and local events.
The judges said: "The Soccer City National Stadium makes a strong and memorable connection with its place in history, the game and the future of this area. The imagery of the calabash, or pot design, which recalls the centre of life in the family is taken on as a strong encircling imagery. It is a genuine example of a building forming deep and lasting roots in its culture and giving a new exciting future to an otherwise rundown area, becoming instantly recognisable as the face of the South African World cup."
Beating off stiff competition to be the world's best - twice!
The festival brings international architecture to the forefront, with over 500 entries from 61 countries.
This is the third year the World Architecture Festival Awards have been presented. Previous winners include 'World Building of the Year 2008' - Luigi Bocconi University, Milan, designed by Irish practice Grafton Architects, and 'World Building of the Year 2009' - Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre in South Africa, designed by Peter Rich Architects of Johannesburg.
A close-up of Soccer City during construction, taken on 11 June 2010, from an altitude of 705km by NASA's EO-1 satellite. (Image: NASA)
The WAF Awards see unsung local buildings take on internationally acclaimed projects in what is the world's biggest architecture contest. Unlike other architectural competitions, architects present their work in front of leading industry judges and a live public audience as they compete for the accolade of 'World Building of the Year'.
WAF Award categories include:
Completed buildings Civic and community housing learning Culture landscaping new & old Display office production Health shopping sport Holiday transport house Interiors and fit out future projects structural Design Offices master planning spans Hotels and casinos landscape towers Health small infrastructure metal Health large competition entries concrete Bars and restaurants residential timber Culture and civic commercial glass Retail small cultural tensile Retail large experimental projects composites Masonry
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