SCAU, the Paris based architects, have won the new 20 000 seats stadium for the Africa Nations Cup (CAN 2021) in Yamoussoukro, the administrative capital of Ivory Coast.

In September 2017, SCAU teamed up with Sogea Satom (Vinci group), Baudin Chateauneuf (steel structure), Alcor (seating specialist) and Egis (engineers) to submit a Design + Build + Finance package to the Minister of Leisure and Sport and COCAN – the organising committee for Ivory Coast. 45 offers were submitted from around the world with a majority coming from Chinese based construction consortiums. Brazil, Portugal, Morocco and Turkey were also represented. The SCAU was the only French submission.

Situated on the east side of the city, SCAU took an approach to create a stadium that was both monumental and minimalist. Monumental - to create a strong image for Ivory Coast that will be broadcast around the world. Minimalist – to ensure a simple low cost in use building with a long life.

The west stand houses all the programme for the stadium, the other 3 stands are dug into the ground, taking advantage of a natural slope in the site. This reduces the amount of built infrastructure to be maintained. Also, this adds to the excitement of arrival at a match. The spectator arrives at the top of the stands and has a clear expansive view of the entire stadium, moves down to the seat and approaches the pitch.

A single roof covers all the stands rising and falling to adapt to the volume underneath and focuses the attention towards the pitch.
As with all SCAU’s stadiums, they paid particular attention to life of the stadium after the event. The heritage of a stadium is key to its profitability and maintenance and so SCAU consulted with various local sports and education groups to imagine how some of the spaces maybe used on a daily basis after CAN.

Building work is due to start on site mid 2018 with completion mid 2020. The cost is 56M€.

SCAU are already well known for other Stadium projects in France and around the world – Stade de France, Paris, Olympic Stadium Ataturk and the Velodrome renovation in Marseille are amongst some of their work. In 2013 SCAU developed the Stadium Square concept with Tractebel which allowed a stadium to be completely converted into a mixed use building complex around a central square (the old pitch).