Architecture – From November 20 until December 18, all eyes will be on Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The global soccer tournament will take place in the Arab world for the first time. On the occasion, acclaimed offices such as Foster + Partners and Zaha Hadid Architects built new stadiums while some other structures were renovated. Discover the eight stadiums located in and around the Gulf state’s capital city of Doha.
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Al Bayt Stadium by Dar Al-Handasah
On November 20, the Qatar vs. Equador match will open the tournament in the new 60,000 seats Al Bayt Stadium designed by Dar Al-Handasah. The stunning tent-like structure wrapping the building is inspired by the traditional black and white striped tents of Qatar’s nomadic people’s Bayt al sha’ar.
Al Janoub Stadium by Zaha Hadid Architects
Inspired by the wind-filled sails of traditional Qatari dhow boats, the Al Janoub Stadium by Zaha Hadid Architects, in collaboration with AECOM, is located in Al Wakrah, Qatar’s southernmost city known for its fishing and pearl diving past. The 40,000 venue features a retractable roof that can close in approximately 30 minutes to provide shade to the entire pitch and contribute to the cooling system’s efficiency before the match. Following the tournament, the stadium will become the home of the local Al Wakrah Sports Club football team.
974 Stadium by Fenwick-Iribarren Architects
The colourful 974 Stadium by Fenwick-Iribarren Architects is the world’s first fully demountable covered football stadium and FIFA World Cup’s first temporary venue. +974 is Qatar’s dialing code; 974 are the shipping containers used to build its staircases, kiosks, bathrooms, and parts of its exterior. The 40,000-seat venue pays tribute to the country’s maritime history and industrial heritage. After the tournament, it can be reassembled on another site or even turned into multiple smaller venues.
Lusail Stadium by Foster + Partners
The final match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar will be played in the Lusail Stadium by Foster + Partners in collaboration with structural engineer Arup and sports architecture studio Populous. A striking golden facade with an intricate perforated pattern inspired by Islamic bowls as well as local architecture “reflects the building’s function, responds to the climate of Qatar, and enhances the theatre of the event.” Explained Foster + Partners’ head of studio Luke Fox.
Al Thumama Stadium by Ibrahim M Jaidah
Qatari architect Ibrahim M Jaidah Architects & Engineers designed the Al Thumama Stadium. The architecture’s circular shape recalls gahfiyas, traditional woven caps worn by men and boys throughout the Arab world. The architecture protects 40,000 spectators from the sun “in a similar way to how the gahfiya is used to cover one’s head from the heat,” the studio explains. This will work in tandem with a cooling system powered by solar energy.
Education City Stadium by Fenwick-Iribarren Architects and Pattern Design
Dubbed a ‘diamond in the desert,’ the Education City Stadium by Fenwick-Iribarren Architects and Pattern Design was informed by traditional Arabic architecture. Triangles composing the facade form sparkle as the sun moves across the sky, creating a stunning digital light show at night. After the games, there are plans for the venue to be converted into a sports hub for the Education City district where it is located, with its top tier of seating removed to make room for university classrooms and event spaces.
Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium by Pattern Design and Ramboll
Demolished in 2015 and re-built at 40,000 capacity, upcycling 80% of the construction materials from the previous venue, the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium by Pattern Design and Ramboll features an artificially cooled open-air pitch ensuring the comfort of players and its 40,000 visitors. The building’s intricate façade reflects the dunes’ undulations. while intricate geometric patterns reflect desert beauty, native flora and fauna, and Qatar’s local and international trade.
Khalifa International Stadium by Dar Al-Handasah
Located 10 kilometres from Doha’s city centre, Khalifa International Stadium by Dar Al-Handasah is the only existing building repurposed for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The 40,000-seat venue was inaugurated in 1976 as the country’s National Stadium and then revamped by its original architect. Alterations include the addition of a canopy that stretches out between the two arches over its roof, a modernised cooling system, and digital lighting for mesmerising night shows.
All photos by the studios, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, and the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.