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Soccer City wins at World Architecture Festival Awards

Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa has won the ‘World’s Best Sport Building’ award at the World Architecture Festival Awards (WAF Awards) 2010. The architecture of Soccer City, designed by Boogertman+Partners, 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. The main form is inspired by the traditional African calabash – meaning the stadium is immediately recognisable as being African.

The venue 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 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 Wold Cup.”

Speaking at the awards, Paul Finch, WAF programme director, said: “Yet again we received a huge response to the fiercely contested WAF Awards, with more than 500 entries from 61different countries. The geographical range and quality of this year’s designs were exceptionally high, with a great deal of entries from ‘new’ economies, both by local architects and international practices. Our congratulations go to the winners for a project that is truly exceptional.”

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