Rwanda Cricket Stadium

Structural Designer

Light Earth Designs

Client Name

Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation


Kigali, Rwanda

Roko Construction Ltd

Light Earth Designs LLP

James Bellamy



The stadium adapts ancient Mediterranean techniques of thin-tile vaulting using compressed soil-cement tiles and geogrid reinforcement for seismic stabilization. It is composed by three vaults, the largest spanning 16m with a rise of over 9m. The vaults follow the natural resolution of forces toward the ground, closely mimicking the parabolic geometry of a bouncing ball and evoking the cherished hilly topography of Rwanda. Employing air-dried, hand-pressed soil tiles, produced using local labour, this method of construction has proved to be innovative, cost effective and beautiful.


Judge's comment:

This building in Rwanda impressed the judges on several counts. The form of the roof, three parabolic arches of decreasing scale, is eye-catching and a witty play on the parabolic path of a bouncing ball. The interesting layering of local materials to build up a strong shell structure with local man-power is highly effective and appropriate to the location.
Research proved the value of using cement-stabilised tiles made from site-excavated soil combined with the use of geogrid to improve ductility in possible dynamic loads in a seismic zone.

This project demonstrates that local skills and local materials can come together to build something outstanding and of its time. This building is likely to become a local landmark and instil pride in the people who experience it. It is also likely to fascinate young students and might lead them to explore the structural engineering behind the project.

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