Japoma Sports Complex weaving in Cameroonian craft traditions ahead of Nations Cup

by Luke Cloherty | 13 Jul 2018

Ahead of 2019’s Africa Cup of Nations football tournament, the architect behind Douala, Cameroon’s new 50,000 seater stadium and sports park, Japoma Sports Complex, has told CLAD about the stadium's ergonomic structure that will bring in the very fabric of the culture of the city around it.

Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon – the host nation for the 2019 tournament – is famed for its street craftspeople and, as such, Japoma will pay homage to this time-honoured tradition in every element of its aesthetic.

Aecom lead architect Luciano Di Domenico told CLAD: “The main stadium itself will take the form of a woven basket, the like of which can be found on the streets of Douala every day, being crafted by locals tradespeople.”

Aecom hired a team of cultural advisors, who studied the work of these local craftspeople, as well as their interactions with each other and the public. As such, the stadium’s elliptical, whirlwind-like outer-shape reflects the creative process and thus the creations of these traders on Douala’s streets.

Di Domenico also noted that the stadium’s colour system is based on the bead and fabric creations found on Douala’s many market stalls. On a visit to the city, the architect noticed a recurring pattern of four predominant colours among these creations – blue, green, yellow and ochre. As such, the four zones of the stadium (north, south, east and west) will each have a relative colour coding, which fades as the zones merge to create a complete colour wheel.

The main stadium concourse will sit in between the upper and lower stands and be the main point of entry, meaning that those with disabilities or mobility issues will have access at grade with no need of extra vertical cores connecting the two tiers.

As well as the upcoming football tournament, a sense of legacy had to be included in the main stadium’s design. As such, it will house an athletics track around the football pitch, meaning the stadium is future proofed with the ability to hold track and field events. Beyond that, the stadium will be able to host concerts and similar events.

Seating inside the Japoma, meanwhile, has been planned with sight lines in mind. Supporters in the stadium will be able to see all of the action unfolding before them, with Di Domenico saying that “sight lines were very important to us when designing how the seating will work within the stadium itself”.

Another user experience and comfort aspect that the Japoma will cater for is rain coverage and ventilation. Douala has a tropical climate, sitting in the Tropic of Cancer as it does, and experiences extreme humidity and an average annual rainfall of 3,702mm. By contrast, New York City experiences 1140mm annually while London experiences 583.6mm. With these extreme conditions in mind, the stadium will be self-ventilating, with an opening the whole way around under the roof allowing air to flow freely, while the roof will cover all seating areas so as to keep supporters dry.

Beyond the main stadium, the Japoma Sports Complex will also be home to a sports hall, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, training fields for football and athletics, a clubhouse, restaurants and a landscaped area. Legacy was of extreme pertinence in the design and Di Domenico sees the project as a place that the people of Douala will use for years to come for leisure activities.

Perhaps the most intriguing point of all of Di Domenico’s, though, is his assertion on the stadium’s general ethos: “In a stadium design industry currently dominated by discussions about technology, climate controlled seats, moving roofs and the like, the Japoma Sports Complex is in counter-tendency," he said.

"Its genuine design is enriched by Cameroonian culture and is based on appropriate technologies, stadium functionality and tailored for the local community."

The Japoma stadium has maybe been designed as a direct reaction to Western ideas of what modern really means, with all of the gadgetry and frills associated therein. Or maybe it is just that it reflects its West African surrounding so fittingly that it seems this way.

Construction is ongoing and is on course to finish well in time for the 2019 football tournament. Turkish builder Yenigun Construction is currently carrying out the build.

Africa Cup of Nations  Douala  Cameroon  Luciana Di Domenico  Aecom  Yenigun Construction 
Ahead of 2019’s Africa Cup of Nations football tournament, the architect behind Douala, Cameroon’s new 50,000 seater stadium and sports park, Japoma Sports Complex, has told CLAD about the stadium's ergonomic structure that will bring in the very fabric of the culture of the city around it. Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon – the host nation for the 2019 tournament – is famed for its street craftspeople and, as
CLD,SAR,TOU,TVL,ARC,DES,DEV,PHR
The Japoma will house an athletics track around the football pitch meaning the stadium is future proofed with the ability to hold track and field events.
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6959     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6959     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Barr + Wray Ltd
Founded in 1959, Barr + Wray is recognised as a world-leading provider of spa design, engineering, and pool and spa equipment.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Callebaut interned with Odile Decq before setting up his practice
"It’s about tracing the evolution of thermal practices"

Eco architect Vincent Callebaut has won a competition to redesign ancient thermal baths in the Savoyard town of Aix-les-Bains, France

The centre features an 12,800sq ft gym. The curves of the building are echoed in the interior
David Polzin is executive director of design at CannonDesign. He studied at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture
"We were able to create an ‘acoustic shadow’ cutting decibel levels nearly in half"

How to design the perfect community leisure centre 100 13th century pilgrimage The Vietnamese village being created using historic methods

Mahdavi designed pastel interiors for the recently opened Laduree store and cafe in Tokyo
After working for Christian Liaigre in Paris, Mahdavi launched her practice in 1999
"I never thought it was a talent. I just did it very naturally, without thinking"

The ‘queen of colour’ on her nomadic childhood, being fearless and choosing the exact right shade of pink for the Sketch Gallery restaurant

features
Carlo Ratti
"Like other cultural institutions, libraries provide something that the internet cannot: genuine human interaction"

How excitingnewprojects arechanging theface oflibrarydesign

Cook’s drawings for Plug-In City show a futuristic, constantly evolving city with modular units that ‘plug in’ to the central structure
Peter Cook
"Somehow we’d caught the imagination of people"

As a book about radical architecture collective Archigram is released, we speak to one of the founders about the need for fun

features
Dror Benshetrit and Di-Ann Eisnor will head up the team
"We will work to fuse nature, design, technology, and community in our cities in order to measurably improve the lives of citizens"

High profile design hirings for the We Company

The fog sculpture at 140 West Plaza in Downtown Chapel Hill, US
Mikyoung Kim
"Nature isn’t rigid. It’s open-ended; that’s its beauty"

The Boston-based landscape architect on blending art and science to design creative spaces that bring communities closer

Marble and bronze create a “sense of masculinity,” said Fu
Fu has a masters in architecture from Cambridge University
"I wanted to go deeper than the stereotypical concept of lanterns, junks and temples"

Drawing on his childhood memories for the St Regis Hong Kong

featured supplier
Featured Supplier: Crown overhaul changing rooms at Saunton Sands spa
Saunton Sands Hotel in Devon, UK, has completed a £2m expansion of its spa and wellness facilities.
cladkit product news
Paul Kelley pushes 'technical boundaries' with modular furniture cube system
The system is designed to enable users to create multifunctional, adaptable pieces, where they are in complete control of the design and function of their furniture
Lauren Heath-Jones
British designer Paul Kelley has created a modular magnetic cube furniture system that enables users to create multifunctional, adaptable pieces, ...
Baux creates plant-based acoustic panels
Baux has worked with scientists from the Royal Institute of Technology to create Baux Acoustic Pulp, a plant-derived acoustic solution
Lauren Heath-Jones
Baux, an acoustic products brand based in Sweden, has developed a line of biodegradable acoustic panels, using a plant-based material ...
Alusid's Sequel collection combines craftsmanship and sustainability says founder
The Sequel collection is billed as the 'most waste-efficient and sustainable' on the market
Lauren Heath-Jones
Alusid, a creator of eco-friendly surfaces, has partnered with Parkside to launch the Sequel range, the brand's first collection of ...
cladkit product news
David Rockwell partners with Jim Thompson for dream-inspired fabric collection
Rockwell has designed 12 multi-use fabrics inspired by dreams with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson
Lauren Heath-Jones
Renowned architect David Rockwell has created a collection of fabrics with long-time collaborator Jim Thompson. Called Dreams, the collection was ...
Mater partners with Ditzel family to create eco-friendly furniture using reclaimed plastic
The furniture uses plastic from recycled fishing nets
Lauren Heath-Jones
Mater, an ethical design brand based in Denmark, has launched a furniture collection made from plastic reclaimed from the ocean. ...
Volvo partners with Reef Lab Designs to encourage ocean biodiversity
The tiles are made from marine-grade concrete and recycled plastic fibres
Lauren Heath-Jones
Car manufacturer Volvo has partnered with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Reef Design Lab to create an environmentally-friendly ...
cladkit product news
Water inspires Zaha Hadid Design x Rosenthal collaboration
The collection consists of three smaller collections: Weave, Strip and Lapp. Weave was inspired by 'the fluid lines of Zaha Hadid's sketching hand'
Lauren Heath-Jones
Zaha Hadid Design has partnered with porcelain manufacturer Rosenthal to create a new collection of vases. Called the Lapp collection, ...
BD Barcelona Design reveals Cristallo by the late Alessandro Mendini
Cristallo was the last design from acclaimed designer and architect Alessandro Mendini
Lauren Heath-Jones
Design Studio BD Barcelona Design has released Cristallo, a limited-edition cabinet designed by the late architect and designer Alessandro Mendini, ...
Tom Dixon Studio to relaunch iconic Pylon chair
Pylon was first designed more than 20 years ago
Lauren Heath-Jones
Originally conceived in his metal workshop in the early 90's, the Pylon chair was Dixon's attempt to create the world's ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates