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Zaha Hadid's designs for 2022 World Cup stadium in Qatar revealed

By Chris Dodd    22 Nov 2013

Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid has released details of her firm’s latest innovative design project, the Al Wakrah Stadium to be created for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The designs are the first set to be released of a number of stadiums being prepared for the tournament, with Zaha Hadid Architects' designs for the 40,000-seater venue taking inspiration from dhow pearl fishing boats associated with Arabian maritime history.

The site for the building is to be located in one of the oldest inhabited areas of Qatar, a historic port city located 15 kilometers south of Doha.

The architecture firm has opted with a form of modular design to ensure that the stadium can be remodelled to cater for smaller audiences once the tournament has ended, ensuring a longer-lasting legacy for the site.

The venue’s second tier – mainly built from engineered timber – will be dismantled and shipped to various developing countries once the tournament is over, with the stadium’s capacity being reduced to a figure of around 20,000.

The 2022 World Cup has been plagued by controversy surrounding both the region’s selection as hosts, as well as the extreme heat competing nations are due to play in when the tournament gets underway.

To cater for these extremes, Hadid has implemented a curved structure into the designs to help deflect heat, while the stadium’s roof will feature a sun-blocking mechanism to keep things cool. There are also plans for an expansive air-conditioning system to run inside the venue to ensure players and fans are protected from Qatar’s 50°C (122ºF) temperatures.

The venue is being developed in partnership with AECOM and under the guidance of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, with building site preparations to begin in January as tenders for construction are issued. It is thought construction could start in the latter half of 2014.

A video exploring the stadium is available here

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