I admit that, in the vast majority of times, the architecture of buildings designed for sports purposes do not fill me with much joy and interest. Such buildings tend to be either rather bland or extremely ostentatious, particularly when their purpose and sustained legacy are taken into account. However, I could not help but feeling drawn to the recently unveiled renderings of the masterplan proposal for the 2015 Pan-African Games in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo (and host city of the inaugural Pan-African Games 50 years ago) by architecture practice IAD (Independent Architectural Diplomacy).
The masterplan’s layout mirrors the vitality and the sinuous paths of the Congo River to delineate three programmatic areas and organise public spaces, whereas the design proposed for the buildings is inspired by the oblong shapes often found in traditional African crafts, textiles and fabrics. In total, the masterplan includes a stadium with 68,406 seats, two training fields, an aquatic centre with two swimming pools and seating areas for 1,000 people, a 10,000-seat sports hall, an athlete’s village with 2,000 rooms occupying 84,000 square meters, and a 120-room hotel. With such ambitious scales and seductive renderings, The Style Examiner much hopes that IAD’s vision can be translated into reality, not only for the benefit of the athletes taking part in the 2015 Pan-African Games but also for the pleasure of architecture lovers worldwide.