The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee yesterday unveiled the stunning new-concept design for the Al Wakrah Stadium which encompasses various aspects of Qatari tradition and culture.
Inspired by the dhow boat and Al Wakrah’s fishing and seafaring heritage, the design has been developed by AECOM in association with Zaha Hadid Architects under the guidance of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee.
“The unveiling constitutes the first in an upcoming series of progress-related events and initiatives as we enter the early phase of delivering the promises we made to FIFA and the international football community during the bid,” said Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Secretary-General Hassan al-Thawadi on the opening day of the Aspire4Sport Conference and Exhibition.
“We are proud to reveal what we believe is a truly unique stadium design and surrounding precinct that will serve the population and act as a social hub for the community of Al Wakrah, and Qatar as a whole, during the 2022 FIFA World Cup and for the years to follow.”
Al-Thawadi added that the design reflects what Qatar stands for from a cultural perspective.
“It is modern, futuristic and functional. But importantly, it remains true to Qatari heritage with the design and materials inspired by the traditional dhow boat.”
In the presence of representatives of Al Wakrah community, Jim Hevern, director of Zaha Hadid Architects, said the stadium precinct would have a multi-purpose indoor arena with two indoor halls, a hospitality vocational training centre, and an international school for 1,000 pupils incorporating a 400m running track in addition to other facilities.
It will have a gross capacity of 40,000 with the modular top tiers allowing the capacity to be lowered to 20,000, which al-Thawadi mentioned will be sufficient for community’s use post-World Cup. The modular tiers could be shipped to countries in the developing world.
Al-Thawadi added: “We are at an advanced stage in our planning. Al Wakrah is the first of six stadiums already in the latter stages of the design process. Our committee has issued ten major tenders to the market encompassing project and design managers and stadium-operation consultants.”
Al-Thawadi stressed on the need to ensure that all the infrastructure projects leave a lasting legacy for Qatar’s communities.
He said: “The facilities that will be built for the 2022 World Cup will be of use to not only Qatar but it will serve the entire Middle East.”
Al-Thawadi reiterated Qatar’s commitment towards implementing innovate cooling technology for the event. “Once it is implemented in Qatar, it can be implemented across the world at other major international events,” he said.
He also stressed that the Qatar could successfully host the World Cup, be it in summer or winter.
“We bid on the premise of a summer World Cup. Having said that, we are ready to deliver it whether it’s in the summer or winter. Either way, it’s going to be an amazing World Cup.”
Located about 15km south of Doha, Al Wakrah has served as a vital commercial port and a gateway to the capital throughout Qatar’s history.
Early work on the stadium site will begin in January, with the tender for the main contractor issued in the second quarter. Stadium construction will begin in the fourth quarter.
All construction contracts for the stadium will be issued in line with the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee’s Workers’ Charter and Standards – developed in consultation with international human rights organisations – which will enforce best practice, in line with the government’s vision for worker welfare, and cement the tournament as a catalyst to the improvement of workers’ welfare within Qatar and the region.
AECOM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John M. Dionisio said: “AECOM is pleased to play a part in the global launch for the Al Wakrah Stadium Project and congratulates the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee on reaching this important milestone in its delivery programme.
“We believe the planning and design for the Al Wakrah Stadium and Precinct clearly establishes an international benchmark for sports venues in the region. We are delighted to be involved with the 2022 FIFA World Cup programme and to support the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee in reaching its vision.
Zaha Hadid added: ‘We are excited to be working on Al Wakrah Stadium. The design expresses its context, establishing a relationship with the city and its surrounding landscape.’