Located in the city of Al Wakrah, 23km south of Doha, Al Janoub Stadium was the first new venue commissioned in 2013 for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The brief called for a 40,000-seat football stadium for the 2022 World Cup which could be reduced to a 20,000-seat capacity in its legacy mode - optimum capacity as home ground to Al Wakrah Sport Club pro-football team.
The stadium has an operable fabric roof and cooling technologies. When deployed, the roof operates like a sail to shade the field of play. Passive design principles, computer modelling and wind tunnel tests were used to maximise the effectiveness of the enclosure for player and spectator comfort.
The client asked the design reflect Al Wakrah’s maritime heritage, in particular, the dhow – a traditional boat of the region. ZHA’s design incorporates these cultural references in an abstracted manner and combines them with practical responses to the climate, context & functional requirements. The abstraction transforms the literal into something new and appropriate for a stadium; allowing multiple interpretations of these cultural references.
The stadium’s roof design is an abstraction of the hulls of dhows turned upside-down and huddled together to provide shade and shelter. This concept is expressed in the stadium’s envelope geometry, details and selected materiality. The opaque roof and wall areas have pleated cross sections. With origins in Arabic motifs and calligraphy, these fluid lines and pleats add texture to the outer shell and emphasise the stadium’s unique geometry.
Designed in conjunction with its new precinct to sit at the heart of an urban extension of the city, creating community-based activities in and around the stadium on non-event days, Al Janoub stadium will be a memorable venue of the 2022 World Cup and afterwards at the centre of its community.