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World Cup 2010: Three Lions, six stadia

The World Cup kicks off this week in South Africa but already British engineers have influenced the outcome of the arenas. Declan Lynch reports.

As the World Cup 2010 kicks off in Africa for the first time many of the stadiums have been shaped with the help of British engineers.

The opening game between host nation South Africa and Costa Rica and the World Cup final will take place in Johannesburg’s Soccer City designed by British architect Populous and South African Boogertman Urban Edge & Partners.

Populous designed the stadium to represent the calabash, or African pot. The facade is made up of laminated fibre reinforced concrete panels in a selection of eight colours and two textures to recreate the shades of the calabash.

Structural engineers PD Naidoo & Associates and Schlaich Bergermann & Partners worked on the £200M upgrade for the stadium, which was originally opened in 1989.

WSP Group is providing mechanical and electrical installations for the brand new Green Point stadium in Cape Town, which sits between Table Mountain and the Atlantic.

WSP Group also worked on Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth and Moses Mabhida in Durban stadium.

Mott MacDonald worked with South African consultant Goba to do the structural design for Nelspruit’s Mbombela stadium.

Ten stadia dotted around South Africa will be used for the FIFA World Cup. Five have been constructed and a further five renovated to meet World Cup standards.

The event has prompted the government to invest in significant infrastructure such as the Gautrain metro railway project and 185km added to the Gautang province highway improvement scheme.

1. Soccer City Stadium, Johannesberg

Capacity: 94,700
Designers: Boogertman Urban Edge, Populous, PD Naidoo, Schlaich Bergermann
Contractors: Grinaker-LTA, Interbeton JV
Cost: £200M
Key games: 11 June S Africa v Mexico (opening game), 11 July final


2. Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Capacity: 46,082
Designers: Architectural Design Associates, Dominic Bonnesse Architects
Contractors: Grinaker-LTA, Interbeton, Ibhayi JV
Cost: £178M
Key games: 23 June Slovenia v England


3. Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane

Capacity: 45,264
Designers: Prism Architects
Contractors: WBHO, Paul JV
Cost: £111M
Key games: 17 June France v Mexico


4. Green Point Stadium

Capacity: 66,005
Designers: GMP Architects Louis Karol & Associates, Point Architects, WSP Group
Contractors: Murray & Roberts and WBHO
Cost: £395M
Key games: 18 June England v Algeria, 6 July semi-finals


5. Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Capacity: 43,500
Designers: RL Architects, Mott MacDonald
Contractors: Basil Read, Bouygues JV
Cost: £94M
Key games: 20 June Italy v New Zealand, 23 June Australia v Serbia


6. Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban

Capacity: 69,957
Designers: iBhola Lethu
Contractors: Group 5, WBHO, Pandev JV
Cost: £296M
Key games: 25 June Portugal v Brazil, 7 July semi-finals

World Cup 2010: Three Lions, six stadia

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