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Salini Impregilo-led JV wins contract to build Qatar’s Al Bayt stadium

Italian company, Salini Impregilo, has signed a contract for the construction of Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, a city about 50km north of the capital, Doha. The contract is worth €770m (US$838m) – of which €716m (US$779m) is for construction and over €53m (US$57) is for operation and maintenance – and relates to the design and construction of Al Bayt Stadium; one of the host venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ finals in Qatar.

Salini Impregilo, in a joint venture with Galfar and Cimolai, beat many competitors from France, Austria, India, and Asia in an international competition that lasted several months before the winner was announced.

The project was awarded by the governmental foundation Aspire Zone, which is responsible for the development of sports infrastructure in the country. It regards the construction of a stadium that can accommodate 70,000 spectators, with an area of 200,000sqm; an auxiliary building for security and administrative facilities, and the centre that will house the electromechanical and distribution systems.

The stadium, which will be completed by September 2018, will have a unique design, as it has been inspired by the Bayt Al Sha’ar; the black and white tent traditionally used by nomadic people in the territory of Qatar and its neighbouring regions, which is seen as symbol of hospitality for the desert travellers. The design responds to the “Qatari concept” to mark the cultural and historical heritage of the country, along with highly innovative technical and engineering aspects.

Particular relevance, among other things, regards the solutions adopted to provide ideal climatic conditions both for the players and the spectators, which is a challenge in an environment that experiences high temperatures and extreme temperature changes both daily and seasonally. The project is believed to be one of the most sustainable in the Qatari’s portfolio of host stadia, thanks to the modern construction techniques to be utilised and the use of environmentally-friendly and low energy impact advanced materials.

Images courtesy: Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy

Images courtesy: Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy

Al Bayt Stadium: Stats

The Aspire Zone Foundation, a stakeholder of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), will deliver Al Bayt Stadium – Al Khor City and the surrounding precinct. In 2022, the stadium will have the capacity to host 60,000 spectators, and will fulfil all FIFA requirements for hosting FIFA World Cup™ matches through to the semi-final round. Dar Al Handasah serves as the design consultant for Al Bayt Stadium – Al Khor City and the surrounding precinct, and Projacs serves as the project manager.

Al Bayt Stadium – Al Khor City perfectly embodies the spirit of Qatar. Using the latest technologies and breathtaking innovations, it tells the story of a nation that has welcomed visitors into its warm embrace, in times of both scarcity and plenty, and treated them as family — regardless of differences in background, history or culture.

For centuries, Qatar has been home to both nomadic and settled populations. The nomadic population lived primarily in the desert and herded animals, including camels, sheep and goats. The country’s settled population primarily lived along the coastline, engaging in pearl diving, fishing and trading with neighbouring villages, towns and cities. Although located close to Qatar’s coast, Al Bayt Stadium – Al Khor City will introduce fans and visitors from around the world to the culture of the desert.

The stadium’s name has been derived from ‘Bayt Al Sha’ar’, a tent traditionally used by nomadic peoples in Qatar and neighbouring countries. Historically, the distinctive exterior – black with prominent white stripes – served a number of purposes. The width and number of white stripes identified the tribe of the owner. The tent was easily spotted from afar. For those travelling through the sometimes harsh landscapes of the desert, the sight of a black-and-white striped tent on the horizon meant an invitation to enjoy the hospitality of the tent’s owner, whether known to the traveller or not. Al Bayt Stadium – Al Khor City will carry on this tradition, beckoning football lovers near and far, bringing them together to put aside their differences in a global celebration of the beautiful game.

The tent’s exterior was also optimised for staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter, just as Al Bayt Stadium – Al Khor City will maintain ideal temperatures for player performance and fan comfort year-round.

Bayt Al Sha’ar interiors contrasted sharply with their monochromatic exteriors. The red, woven interiors, in a traditional Sadu pattern that differed from area to area and family to family, greeted visitors who stepped inside Bayt Al Sha’ar, enveloping them in the warmth of their hosts and inviting them to relax and shelter from the elements. This is echoed in the interior of Al Bayt Stadium, where the Sadu pattern will provide visitors from abroad with a taste of traditional Qatari design, and remind local fans of their heritage.

Of necessity, the tents upon which Al Bayt Stadium – Al Khor City is modelled are uniquely sustainable and suitable to the deserts in which they are found. They are named after the animal hair from which they were woven with care, from the same animals that grazed outside. Despite the relative simplicity of their design, they were expected to fulfil a number of requirements. They had to be quick and easy to erect and deconstruct, and light enough to be carried by pack animals, sometimes for long distances. They also needed to be airy and cool in the summer, and warm and cozy in the winter.

Al Bayt Stadium shares this dedication to sustainability witnessed in the generations who lived in Bayt Al Sha’ar. To achieve Qatar’s goal of hosting an environmentally-friendly 2022 FIFA World Cup™, the stadium and precinct will incorporate green building materials that minimise embedded carbon and incorporate energy usage best practices. Employing the latest construction techniques and materials, the stadium will target Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) certifications.