With its plan for the new Rock Stadium, Lebanese design firm MZ Architects addresses the question of how to design a modern stadium that is located near a powerful natural site while preserving its authenticity. Instead of building the stadium next to the rocky hillside, MZ decided to build it within the existing geographical features, resulting in an award-winning green sports stadium that is hidden in the desert sands of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates. Inspired by ancient greet temples and stadia, MZ Architects cleverly played with mass and void relationships, creating a careful balance between man-made and natural elements.
MZ Architects, under the direction of lead architect Marwan Zgheib, designed the stadium to maximize the use of on-site and local materials while merging landscape and architecture, creating a seamless experience between stadium activities and the desert landscape. From a distance the stadium melts into the surroundings, respecting the beauty of the landscape.
The rock formations are utilized as an aesthetic component and careful patterns enhancing the natural characteristics of the site are created with the recuperated stone from the careful re-use of all material.The 200,000-square-meter structure relies on a series of emerging planes to mold the space, and beams of light illuminates the site at night, transforming the stadium into a powerful and symbolic place for national events and activity.
Currently the project is still at a concept stage with no planned start date, for now.
Images © MZ Architects