FNB Stadium

Boogertman + Partners, part of the design team for FNB Stadium, has led a project intended to repurpose the iconic Johannesburg venue as 1,500-bed temporary severe acute respiratory infections treatment centre during COVID-19.

Boogertman + Partners has teamed up with fellow architects Geyser Hahn for the project, which is being led by infrastructure consultants Blue IQ. Although the respective parties stressed that they hope their work will not be needed, they have outlined how the 87,436-seat stadium, developed as the centrepiece for South Africa’s staging of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, could be utilised.

A dedicated team of professionals including architects, hospital design specialists, interior and urban designers responded to a 72-hour turnaround brief to turn the stadium into a field hospital.

Boogertman + Partners said in a statement: “A stadium designed for large volumes of segregated audiences to move swiftly within defined areas (players, spectators, media, VIPs, vendors) lends itself very well to creating space for patients, medical staff and suppliers to move through a treatment system while keeping the distancing needed to minimise the risk of increased infection. From basement level to the upper suite levels each tier of the stadium was assigned a role in the flow of treatment from testing and patient assessment to high care in ICU units.”

The design and logistics proposal for FNB Stadium, otherwise known as Soccer City, has also been replicated for Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria. Last week, Nelson Mandela Bay Acting Mayor, Thsonono Buyeye, said the South African city and the department of health had come up with a plan whereby Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will be ready for use within a matter of days as an isolation site to treat patients.

Jean Grobler, director at Boogertman + Partners, said: “While I hope we never have to build our design, which we believe is an excellent solution from initial low-risk cases through to full ICU facilities, the spirit of collective problem solving and goodwill was incredible. It made us proud of our profession.”

The team worked in lockdown mode and used Zoom for design collaborations. Provision of facilities for patients was divided into three categories of risk with the appropriate shielding and cubicles used for those at the highest need of care and intubation, with beds and less intensive medical facilities provided for patients who need to be monitored.

Cars Jeans Stadion

Dutch Eredivisie football club ADO Den Haag has joined forces with citizens’ initiative DoneerEenDorp in a venture that will transform the surrounds of its Cars Jeans Stadion into accommodation for the homeless during COVID-19.

Fifty portacabins will be installed, with work commencing at the end of the week. The site is set to be used as a means to provide ‘replacement home isolation’ services for those who have contracted COVID-19.

“At ADO Den Haag we like to contribute in several ways to the fight against the coronavirus,” said Mohammed Hamdi, general manager of ADO Den Haag. “Facilitating this project meets an important need: people can be accommodated who are diligently looking for a suitable and isolated place to recover. Because this is important for society and in particular for The Hague community, we are happy to lend a helping hand.”

Alderman Bert van Alphen added: “If you don’t have a house, you can’t stay at home. People without a roof over their head who are sick, but do not need extra care or nursing, can be temporarily accommodated thanks to the placement of the portacabins in the parking lot of the stadium.”

The venture comes with the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) effectively cancelling the Eredivisie season after the government extended a ban on the staging of major public events by a further three months.

Ricoh Arena

A COVID-19 testing centre has opened at Ricoh Arena, home of English Premiership rugby union team Wasps.

Car Park A at the multi-purpose venue in the city of Coventry will handle tests for NHS staff and registered care workers. The site will be managed by the Coventry & Warwickshire Health & Care Partnership – comprising NHS organisations and local authorities.

The Ricoh Arena, along with suppliers Moseley Signs and Neptunus Structures, have provided much of the infrastructure required, as well as security, in conjunction with West Midlands Police, who will monitor the site.

A Wasps spokesperson said: “Wasps has always tried to play a big part in the local community so it was a pretty easy decision when approached to help. Everybody knows where the Ricoh Arena is, so it makes sense to set up the centre at such an accessible location.

“It has been a team effort from all bodies involved to get this up and running inside a week, and hopefully will be a major help to all those who are working so selflessly to keep the population safe at such a difficult time.”

Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium is being utilised as part of the Football Association’s Football’s Staying Home campaign.

The FA is asking supporters to share videos of themselves and their loved ones honing their skills from home via social media, by including the hashtag #FootballsStayingHome.

Fans who upload their videos may have the opportunity to see their content played out at the London venue, with the giant screens at Wembley set to stream a selection of entries to millions worldwide via FA and England teams’ social media channels.

The FA’s Football’s Staying Home initiative launched last month across national team digital channels to produce content to promote physical and mental wellbeing during the pandemic.

Image: Boogertman + Partners