AECOM and Zaha Hadid Architects recently unveiled their design for the 40,000-seat Al Wakrah Stadium; the first of several new stadiums that are set to host matches during the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar.
Located approximately 15km south of Doha, Al Wakrah is one of the oldest continuously inhabited areas in Qatar. Taking the dhow boats that carried generations of Qatari fishermen and pearl divers as inspiration, the design of Al Wakrah Stadium and the approximately 586,000m2 surrounding precinct weaves together the city’s cultural heritage with Qatar’s progressive outlook, as defined in the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030). In addition to the stadium and precinct, Al Wakrah’s seafaring identity will be incorporated into the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ fan experience.
A natural grass pitch, cooled to an optimal temperature of 26 degrees Celsius, will ensure that brilliant football is played. Spectator stands will be cooled to a supremely comfortable 24-28 degrees Celsius. AECOM designed Al Wakrah Stadium in association with Zaha Hadid Architects. AECOM serves as the Design Consultant on the project, while KEO International Consultants is the Project Manager.
In support of the Supreme Committee’s (SC) commitment to host a carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup™, Al Wakrah Stadium’s carbon footprint has been considered from an early stage. The stadium’s structure has been designed to minimise the amount of materials required for construction, and the embodied carbon of these materials taken into account. The stadium and precinct buildings all incorporate energy usage best practices, minimising natural resource demand before, during and after the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™. To minimise cooling requirements, state-of-the-art computer modelling techniques are being applied to optimise the structural design. Furthermore, renewable energy will be generated within the precinct, making a significant contribution to the energy required to operate Al Wakrah Stadium.
To ensure that FIFA and the SC’s sustainability requirements are met, Al Wakrah Stadium will target Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) 4 Star and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certifications.
From day one, the SC has committed to creating a lasting legacy for Qatar and the world.
Following the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™, Al Wakrah Stadium’s modular, 20,000-seat upper tier and associated cooling systems will be disassembled and distributed to developing nations that lack sporting infrastructure.
The remaining 20,000-seat stadium will become the new home of Al Wakrah Sports Club, whose football team’s kit has been donned by the likes of Qatari football legend Mansoor Muftah and French international player Frank Leboeuf. On days when matches are not taking place, the stadium facilities will serve as a social hub, offering a shaded and cooled promenade and seating areas for residents and visitors.
The precinct surrounding Al Wakrah Stadium will also serve to strengthen the bonds of community in Al Wakrah. Pleasant, pedestrian-friendly outdoor spaces, schools, a wedding hall and numerous new sports facilities, amongst other attractions, will serve as gathering points for Al Wakrah’s residents, enriching life in the city and providing ample space for work and play.
The precinct’s abundant new retail space will cater to entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium enterprises, fostering sustainable growth and contributing to the diversification of Qatar’s economy, in line with the QNV 2030. The new metro system and other public transportation options will ensure easy access to the precinct – for fans during the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ and for the people of Al Wakrah for generations to come.