Qatar’s controversial 2022 World Cup planning got a burst of star power when renowned Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, who was one of Time Magazine’s top 100 most influential people in 2010, was appointed to join AECOM to design the Al Wakrah Stadium.
The modular 45,000 seat stadium will incorporate Islamic architectural elements to match one of the oldest inhabited settlements in Qatar – just south of Doha.
A design that embraces the city’s cultural heritage, the stadium will act as an urban oasis complete with an aquatics center, a spa and commercial space.
And, perhaps most importantly, it will incorporate a host of cooling technologies and renewable energy to ensure that both athletes and visitors are safe during the Arabian Gulf’s vicious summers.
(That being said, there is still a chance that the 2022 World Cup will be switched to winter.)
Since Qatar won’t really have any need for a 45,120 seat stadium when the sporting event comes to a close, the building’s modular second tier can be removed, slashing the total capacity to a more humble 25,500 seats.
Zaha Hadid is not known for her ecologically-sensitive design, but she does add some serious star power to the World Cup that has been subject to criticism from the start.
After accusations that Qatar bribed their way through the historic bid, critics warn that the first such event to be held in the Middle East will be dangerously hot.
But contractors such as AECOM have promised that they have the necessary technology to deliver solar-powered stadia that will maintain a comfortable interior environment.
Work on Al Wakrah Stadium is set to start immediately.