Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
The Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation (RCSF) has launched a £250,000 crowdfunding campaign for a new international standard cricket ground in Kigali, Rwanda. Planned in partnership with the Rwandan Cricket Association, the facility will be non-profit and will operate a ‘sport for all’ policy to ensure that Rwandans from all ages, genders and backgrounds can have access to cricket.
The vision of the RCSF is to create a pleasant, green environment where Rwandans of all ages can develop their cricket, building self-esteem and life skills. The intention is not to develop a cricket stadium in the conventional sense but to create a unique social place in a setting that complements the beauty of the Rwandan landscape.
The development is conceived as an opportunity to empower and engage local people in need of work, skills and income though the use of local materials and labour intensive construction techniques. Using rainwater harvesting and land use technologies, the project will be a benchmark in responsible, sustainable development and will provide the people of Rwanda with a unique and valuable asset.
The cricket ground and pavilion will be constructed on a 4.5 hectare plot on the outskirts of Kigali. The multi-phase construction will be overseen in part by the designers of the pavilion - Light Earth Designs LLP. This award winning practice is pioneering the technique of Catalan timbrel vaulting using soil stabilised technology. The project develops the vault application for seismic areas and proposes a series thin shell vaults of up 16m spans, giving spectators wide unobstructed views of the cricket oval.
The vaulted forms of the pavilion spring from the naturally falling ground levels and trace the geometry of a ‘bouncing ball parabola’. The largest vault, which houses the main social areas such as the bar and restaurant, spans an impressive 16m. The next vault, at 12.5m, contains the player and umpire dressing areas as well as the clubhouse which will offer free HIV testing to the local community. The smallest vault houses club offices and storage as well as a press viewing area. Simple concrete ‘tables’ infilled with local renewable natural materials are inserted into the vaults to create enclosed ground floor areas and open ‘mezzanines’ with fantastic views over the oval. The vaults are covered with broken recycled ceramic tiles using a Catalan technique called ‘trencadis’. The tiles are laid in a pattern generated by ‘pixellating’ the natural surrounding foliage. The building is designed to become an extension of the landscape, blending in naturally with the topography of the ‘land of a thousand hills’.
The project is to be constructed using predominantly local labour sourced through a Rwandan Government- led social protection programme, the Vision Umurenge Project. Households from the two poorest categories of the population (Ubudehe 1 and 2), will be recruited to work on the construction of the project. The cricket ground will provide education for local youth, create local jobs, demonstrate the use and benefits of sustainable design and brings new building technologies to Rwanda’s construction industry.
The objective of the new ‘pavilion appeal’ campaign is to raise £250,000 to complete the building and launch the new stadium in Kigali. Homestrings has been appointed to galvanise the global African diaspora to support this initiative and contribute to its financing.