In preparation for hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar has hired starchitect Zaha Hadid to design a sprawling new soccer stadium. Hadid’s studio will partner with AECOM to construct the stadium in Al Wakrah outside of Doha. Details of the design are still a bit fuzzy, but according to AECOM, the new stadium will integrate energy-efficient design strategies to cool spectators in the desert climate.
The historic area of Al Wakrah is known for its rich cultural heritage, including archeological sites, Islamic architecture and historic buildings. The city sought a design that would not disrupt the legacy of the area. The stadium campus will seat 45,000 soccer fans during games, but it can be reduced to 20,000 using modular pieces that will repurpose seating areas for other uses. The stadium campus will infuse green space into the desert domain, creating lush forested areas for the community to enjoy. The forested perimeter will also help cool the area while producing fresh oxygen and helping to filter the air. However, it is worth noting that there are no details on what types of plants will be used, and what level of irrigation will be required in what remains a desert environment.
The stadium itself will feature a perforated double skin, which is expected to filter in light and encourage cross breezes. Construction is set to begin this year.