The Kigali Arena is a multi-functional sports hall, located in the capital city of Rwanda, Kigali, with a spectator capacity of 10.000, within a total construction area of 28.620 sqm. Although the activities set to take place in the Arena are mainly sports activities such as basketball, futsal, tennis, volleyball, handball, it’s also fit to host various social activities such as concerts and congresses.
The design of the Kigali Arena itself holds and portrays geometrical references of the vernacular architecture of Rwanda, as a powerful reminder and signage for inhabitants. “Imigongo” is one of the most significant traditional patterns including spiral and geometric motives that are painted on walls, pottery, and canvas. The design of the Kigali Arena greatly reflects the power of this rich and fascinating cultural heritage by the direct usage of the previously mentioned Imigongo patterns on the façade in a bold manner. This approach aims to welcome the inhabitants to the Arena with a sense of familiarity and vivacity. These traditional patterns are implemented on the glass façade as a shell, which brings a depth of view, while the shadows of the patterns achieve to give rhythm to the main circulation. The taking-in of the patterns inside in a natural way strengthens the experience. These inspirations and references taken from the culture of the site help carry the Arena to a better place design-wise.
The capacity of this newly introduced Arena essentially creates an opportunity to hold sports games and other social activities with many more people, which in return encourages the players, creating an improved user-experience for everyone utilizing the Arena. The number of spectators and the fact that it is set to be the largest stadium that the country has ever built, creates a bigger importance in terms of making this design a fitting to its location. To achieve this, several inspirations were taken into consideration in the process, as well as some local references.
With all these design decisions and processes taken into consideration, Kigali Arena is a world class sports facility delivered with respect for its local community and culture, and contributes to the improvement of the lives of future generations in Rwanda by setting an example of the sustainability of the cultural elements of the area, as well as new opportunities for variety in architecture.
Founded in 2003 by Kerem Yazgan and Begüm Yazgan, both PhD. Architects, Yazgan Design Architecture Inc. is an architectural, interior, landscape and graphic design firm based in Ankara, Turkey. With an experienced staff of 35 architects, landscape designers, technical draftsmen, graphic designers and IT experts, the company has signed on to many architectural, interior design and landscape projects. With over 8.000.000 square meters in total projects located in both Turkey and a number of other countries, the portfolio of Yazgan Design Architecture continues to grow and diversify.The company has the capacity to create projects of different programs and scales that cover conceptual, design development and construction phases. Mixed-use buildings, retail, hotel, residential, office, educational buildings, hospitals, cultural centers, airports, and sport complexes are some of the building typologies that comprise the company portfolio.