A partnership between Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA), Designsport and JDAW has won an international competition held by the Federal Sport Commission of Ethiopia to design the ETB1.6bn ($89.36m) national stadium and sports village in Addis Ababa.
The proposed stadium will have a capacity of 60,000 and will be able to host football matches, athletics events and concerts, as well as religious and national festivals.
The sports village will comprise indoor and outdoor aquatic centres, outdoor pitches, sports halls and arenas, dormitories and the headquarters for the Sport Commission.
LAVA director Chris Bosse said that the company has gone back to the very origin of stadium design with a sunken arena surrounded by grandstands formed from excavated material.
"This man-made crater is a clever remodelling of the existing terrain and generates efficient spaces, optimises environmental performance, minimises construction costs and integrates facilities within the existing landscape," Bosse said.
The development will also feature a central plaza and a ridge connecting all zones.
Solar-powered umbrellas will offer shade and shelter while pedestrian-activated light and water features appear as fissures in the ground surface to guide people and create animated art works.
The exterior of the structure will be inspired by the traditional Massob, an Ethiopian communal serving basket made from woven grass, while the shapes of the facade have been designed to resemble coffee beans, the main source of income in Ethiopia.
The roof of the stadium will be built using an intelligent membrane, which will look like a lightweight tensile structure floating over the formed-earth landscape.
Construction work on the stadium is expected to begin in 2014.
Image: The 60,000 seat stadium will host football matches, athletics events and concerts. Photo: Laboratory for Visionary Architecture.