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

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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.



Qatar looks set to reduce number of 2022 FIFA World Cup host venues

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This week, organisers of the 2022 FIFA World Cup have announced they are seriously considering reducing the number of host venues down from twelve to as few as eight, with Umm Salal stadium (pictured above) being one of several venue designs that may not now come to fruition.

In a statement, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy for the 2022 FIFA World Cup cited the size of the host nation as a factor in this decision: “The process of selecting the final proposed line-up of host venues is ongoing in consultation with FIFA. Given the size of our country, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee decided to look into reducing the originally proposed 12 venues to fit the country’s specifications, while ensuring best playing conditions for all 64 matches.”

The statement also reiterated the fact that eight is the minimum number of stadiums generally accepted by FIFA for the hosting of a World Cup: “The 2022 Local Organising Committee will submit, by December 2014, a proposal for an appropriate number of host venues, whilst ensuring a suitable legacy for the country and the national league after the tournament. The approval of the final number of stadiums is envisaged by the FIFA Executive Committee by March 2015.”

Qatari culture and heritage in Al Wakrah Stadium design for 2022

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The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee this week unveiled the new concept design for Al Wakrah Stadium in the proposed southern-most Host City for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General, Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, said:

Today’s announcement 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. 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. The stadium reflects what our country 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.

AECOM, in association with Zaha Hadid Architects, have developed the design under the guidance of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee. The stadium will have a capacity of 40,000 and the top-tiers will be modular to allow this to be lowered to 20,000. 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. After a rigorous design process, undertaken by the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, in coordination with its stakeholders, the local construction market will see real work and progress. Works will begin to be visible on stadium sites. In 2014, tenders will be issued for early works, enabling works and main contractors for five stadiums. These stadia will be in different construction stages by the fourth quarter.

On Al Wakrah specifically, early works 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. This is an exciting time for Qatar, and our global team of forward-thinking sports experts is well equipped to take on the innovative challenges that a project of this calibre will demand.

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.