Qatari-Australian group awarded Ethiopia stadium design

60,000-seat stadium’s design is inspired by Ethiopian culture and history, consortium says

A design by a Qatari-Australian-led consortium has won an international competition to design a FIFA/Olympic-standard stadium with a sunken arena in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Doha-based Australian firm, Designsport, and Australian Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (Lava), in collaboration with local Ethiopian architects, JDAW, won the competition for their design which references Ethiopia’s world-famous excavated architecture and the ‘Mother womb,’ the skeleton of one of the first humans, Lucy, who is about 3.2 million years old.

The development is the largest sporting infrastructure project in Ethiopia. Set on a 60-hectare site, the new facilitywill comprise a 60,000-seat stadium, an athletics track, aquatic centre, residential village, sports halls and arenas, retail and commercial zones as well as the headquarters of the Federal Sport Commission.

Shaped like a coffee bean, the main source of income in Ethiopia, the stadium’s façade material that wraps around the stadium was similarly inspired by Ethiopian culture, modelled on the Massob, an Ethiopian communal serving basket made from woven grass.

Work on the stadium is scheduled to begin in 2014.


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