Nike Football Training Centre
NIKE DESIGN TEAM: Architect
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Award of Merit Citation
The Nike Football Training Centre is located on the north side of Chris Hani Road in Klipspruit, Soweto. The centre is made up of two all-weather grass soccer pitches, refurbished support facilities and ablutions abutted along Chris Hani Road with the new administrative/events building sandwiched between the road and the soccer pitches to which the building creates a southern edge. The building is a two-storey structure that smartly exploits the slope of the site as it cuts into the slope to create split-level activity spaces.
The foyer into the new building is accessible through a wide terraced circulatory route that connects the pitches to the parking lot and the refurbished ablutions block. A courtyard with the 'Wall of Names' reinforces the connection to the ablution block and provides a liminal space that ties the existing building to the new development. To re-enact what professional footballers experience when entering a stadium through the pitch-entrance ramp, Nike Centre, too, has a pitch-entrance ramp from the courtyard.
The overall complex is by far and large, a miniature stadium complex with a gym tucked under the building with the pitch-entrance ramp passing the gym's door.
Within the building the colourful generous interior, whilst reminiscent of the stadium's VIP lounges, affords an opportunity for exhibition spaces, meeting room and advertisement space for Nike Football. The rectangular building is clad with a timber screen that climatically protects the interior whilst acting as a billboard on the exterior. The rooftop entertainment deck is conveniently positioned to allow the admin staff below a viewing deck overlooking the two football pitches and the surrounding Soweto township beyond.
All truncated references not fully cited below are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.