FREE STATE STADIUM
International events such as the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa, often bring about an impetus for fresh infrastructural interventions.
So, when the FIFA 2010 buzz hit Free State, it was decided to extend and upgrade the existing rugby stadium rather than to build a new stadium for the event.
The original main stand was constructed in 1955. In 1995, this stand was enlarged and the horse shoe stand added in preparation for the Rugby World Cup. The main stand was extended upwards by adding more columns and camels on to accommodate additional raked seats. This became necessary to comply with the FIFA requirements of increasing the capacity to 45 000. Expressive wind shields were also added at the ends of the new rakes.
The VIP area was expanded, a ‘mixed zone’ created, and the change rooms restructured and expanded. The press facilities were also extended. Two new ramps provide access for ambulances to access the VIP level, deliveries and spectator evacuation.
This upgrading aimed to capitalize on existing conditions rather than constructing a complete new venue that would have placed an unsustainable financial burden on the city.
* In joint venture with: Architects Celliers Greyvenstein and Tomane Moteane Architects