Contact Artefacts
please if you have any comments or more information regarding this record.

Govan Mbeki Multi-Purpose Sports and Community Centre
Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), Eastern Cape


Client:Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality
Type:Community Centre


Click to view map

33°51'43.21" S 25°32'23.47" E

Located across from motionless shimmering salt flats the new Govan Mbeki community multi-purpose sport centre can be found stretching along the entire length of Ngoyi Street in Bethelsdorp, on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth. The modern multi-purpose facility provides sporting, cultural and learning venues focusing on youth in the area.

The facility is divided into two parts, consisting of a hall, seating 500 people with a mezzanine level seating a further 100 people. The hall has been designed to allow for indoor sporting events. The hall also includes a raised stage and storage areas to facilitate cultural events. The second building consists of a Service Point, Administrative Office, Male and Female Ablutions, Gymnasium, Clubs Room, Craft Room and Learning Centre. A Caretaker's House has also been provided but set apart from the main public buildings on the site providing privacy. A guard house has been positioned to facilitate a view of the pedestrian entrance and be able to manage the vehicular entrance to the parking area.

Adendorff Architects were involved in this project from conception to completion. The building itself was designed to be simple yet contemporary with easily accessible spaces. The use of different materials, scale and textures visually integrate the community multi-purpose sport centre into the adjacent informal tectonic, while the fragmented spatial articulation of the community courtyards echo the character within the fine grain organic urban spaces of the surrounding informal settlements. The L-shaped form of the single story block protects the open spaces from the strong directional wind-driven sand, while the large overhangs create shelter from the strong Eastern Cape sun.

The tall vertical tower, located on the public corner of the site, creates an easily identifiable vertical landmark within the surrounding low laying urban environment. The public entrance way creates a civic character through the use of the large scale indoor sports hall, as well as the formal use of symmetry and repetition within the central axis.

The indoor sports hall opens up onto the northern courtyard allowing and encouraging spatial interaction by breaking down the defined thresholds on the ground and the overhead plane. The raked seating on the sports hall upper flooring allows for visual connection to the activities below, while creating large overhangs on the north facade that spatially feather the thresholds below.

Passive energy efficiency design was incorporated into the design from the initial onset of the project, with provisions made for water and solar harvesting. The future life and sustainability of the project was considered with provisions made for future growth and expansion.

(Adendorff Architects 2015)