A stadium designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) – along with global infrastructure company Aecom – has opened in Doha, Qatar. The Al Janoub Stadium was the first stadium commissioned for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
As one of the venues of the 2022 World Cup, the stadium will host the group and quarter-final matches of the tournament.
It is located in the city of Al Wakrah, 23 km south of Doha and will be connected to the capital via the Red Line of new Doha Metro system.
The 40,000-seat football stadium for the 2022 World Cup could be reduced to a 20,000-seat capacity in its legacy mode following the tournament – the optimum capacity for legacy use as the home ground to Al Wakrah Sport Club professional football team of the Qatar Stars national league.
These temporary seats have been designed to be demountable and transportable to a developing country in need of sporting infrastructure for post-tournament usage.
The stadium also boasts an operable roof designed by Schlaich Bergermann Partner and a seating bowl cooling system that ensures the stadium can be used during Qatar’s summer months.
The operable roof has been designed in sympathy with the cladding using pleated PTFE fabric and cables. Once deployed, the roof operates like a sail to cover the oculus above the field of play and create a sheltered environment for football during the summer, said ZHA in its statement.
Passive design principles along with computer modeling and wind tunnel tests were used to maximize the effectiveness of the physical enclosure to ensure player and spectator comfort, it stated.
Further temporary accommodation such as concessions is required for the additional capacity of FIFA World Cup tournament mode. This has been built as a temporary overlay outside the permanent footprint and enclosure of the stadium in its legacy mode.
Given the stadium’s context within the coastal city of Al Wakrah, the developers asked for a design that reflects the maritime traditions and history of the location, in particular, the traditional boat of the region, the dhow.
ZHA responded with a design that incorporates these cultural references in an abstracted manner and combines them with practical responses to the climate, context and the functional requirements of a football stadium.
The abstraction transforms the literal into something new and appropriate for a football stadium; allowing multiple interpretations of these cultural references both in terms of how they are applied and how they are read, said the renowned architect.
According to ZHA, the stadium’s roof design was an abstraction of the hulls of dhows turned upside-down and huddled together to provide shade and shelter.
This is expressed in the stadium’s envelope geometry, details and selected materiality, including the roof’s beam structure that echoes the interior structure of a dhow’s hull.
The facades of the stadium are slanted outwards, tapered in elevation and reminiscent of the pleating of a dhow’s sails. The image of the dhow is further emphasized through the large overhang of the stadium’s eaves that incorporates strips of metal cladding reminiscent of the timber structures used in a dhow.
The stadium’s opaque roof and wall areas are expressed as pleated cross sections. This feature, which has its origins in Arabic motifs and calligraphy, adds texture to the outer shell and also emphasizes the stadium’s unique geometry.
The external cladding materials are deliberately selected from a limited palette of materials and choice of colors; namely white for the roof and wall cladding, and darker colors for the areas below the eaves, including the lower level curtain walling with its ornamental lattice screen print that provides shading, it stated.
The stadium sits on a large landscaped podium that takes visitors from grade to the entry level main entry concourse located at the middle of the seating bowl’s tiers.
This podium connects the stadium into the adjacent landscape and reduces its scale. Large parabolic voids within the podium signify different activity zones. On the eastern side, voids allow for the majority of spectators to arrive and depart from the stadium.
The northeastern void will include a community market whilst the southeastern void hosts an activity park. To the west, the parabolic void within the podium allows for vehicle access and drop-off at grade for the players, officials, and dignitaries.
The stadium was designed in conjunction with its new precinct to sit at the heart of an urban extension of the city, creating community-based activities in and around the stadium on non-event days, said the statement from ZHA.
TradeArabia News Service