- Designers of the FNB Stadium have said they will not be taking any steps against the architects of the Mordovia Arena despite them noting the similarities between the design of the new stadium
- Social media users and other have commented about how much the two stadia look like each other, with some even dubbing the Russian stadium a “mini-FNB stadium”
- FNB Stadium, which seats 94 000 was the venue for the 2010 World Cup Final
The designers of FNB Stadium have said they are neither in any position to accuse those who designed the new Russian Mordovia Stadium of copying their design, nor do they plan to take any steps against it.
Briefly.co.za gathers, to the contrary, they consider it to be the greatest compliment if the design was in any way influenced by their design.
Moldovia Arena‚ which can hold 44 000 people in its stands‚ looks almost like a mini-FNB‚ which seats 94 000.
There are more than just a few passing similarities between Mordovia Arena and Johannesburg’s 2010 World Cup final venue FNB.
Both have a mosaic-like outer body, and even the orange seating inside‚ has attracted attention on social media.
Construction on the Russian stadium in Saransk‚ east of Moscow‚ began in 2010. It opened just over a fortnight ago.
Bob van Bebber‚ director of architecture company Boogertman + Partners‚ who designed the revamped FNB Stadium‚ said unless he had inside knowledge of the design process leading to Mordovia’s appearance‚ he wasn’t in any position to say it had been based on FNB Stadium.
“All I can say is that from the images available that I have seen‚ it appears to be very similar. I am not in a position to accuse them of copying as I have not had insight into their narrative nor their concept proposal‚” said Van Bebber.
However, the architect did say that if Mordovia Arena had been influenced by FNB’s design it was a compliment to his company.
“If indeed it is as copy‚ then we are flattered‚ but we would be disappointed that they didn’t come up with their own idea‚” he said. “We are‚ however‚ not offended and do not plan to take any steps against the designers.”
The designers of Mordovia Arena have said in reports that their stadium's design similarities to FNB are purely coincidence.
But, as Van Bebber explained, “design ideas are often reinterpreted in different ways. It does‚ however‚ in certain instances‚ get too close for comfort and designers take steps to address this‚” he said.
“Very few ideas are truly original‚ but we as architects need to constantly strive to be original for our own sanity and for our clients‚ who are always looking for that point of difference to set their building apart from others.”
The 2018 Russian World Cup kicks off on June 14 with the match between the hosts and Saudi Arabia in Moscow.
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