Rwanda Cricket Stadium: Seismically stabilised tile vaults
The Rwanda Cricket Stadium, completed in 2017, uses compressed soil-cement tiles, thin-tile vaulting, and geogrid reinforcement for seismic stabilisation in Kigali’'s moderate risk earthquake zone. 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. The masonry vaults in compression allow the use of geogrid embedded within the mortar layers, adding global ductile behaviour to the thin shell composite of low strength tiles. Structural analysis is based on thrust lines, with additional envelope for the thrust lines to leave the profile of the masonry computed from the tensile capacity added by the geogrid (Ramage and Dejong ). Construction follows traditional thin-tile techniques adapted for new environments and uses compressed earth tiles as pioneered at the Mapungubwe Interpretive Centre in South Africa (Ramage et al. ). Here, the two approaches are combined in a permanent structure, with the largest vault spanning 16 m with a rise of 8 m. The Rwanda Cricket Stadium is a fusion of advanced structural analysis and architectural design with labour intensive, locally-sourced material production offering a much-needed solution to building sustainably in the developing world. Employing air-dried, hand-pressed soil tiles, produced using local labour, this method of construction has proved to be innovative, cost effective and beautiful.