After winning the bid to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the South African city of Port Elizabeth went into action to accommodate the expected influx of fans and spectators that would be watching the game in Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium had to provide exceptional comfort and seating for over 40,000 FIFA World Cup spectators and fans. The stadium is located on North End Lake and Nelson Mandela Bay, which is characterised by its sea air and notoriously strong winds. Architects GMP had to develop a design that provided the audience with a shade that was resistant to sea air corrosion and strong winds.

MakMax Australia provided the GMP architects with 36 steel trusses that were cantilevered over the spectators’ area and are spanned with tensile membrane to capture the light while providing shade.

The architectural membrane’s design, nicknamed The Sunflower, featured soft curves with sharp edges on the roof to provide the construction strength needed with its aesthetic appeal. The petals covered over some five levels of spectator seatings, which included two vast viewing screens.

MakMax Australia also provide a combination of Chukoh Skytop FGT-800 PTFE (polytetrafluroethylene) glass fibre fabric and aluminium sheeting to cover the perimeter of the stadium, which is supported by over 2,000 tonnes of steel.

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was the first of the five FIFA World Cup stadium constructions in South Africa. The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium also won the Lightweight Structures Association of Australasia (LSAA) ward for large structures in 2009.

MakMax Australia is one of the leading providers in innovative solutions and designs that utilise tension membranes.