DOHA: Sir Norman Foster’s next major football project is the Lusail venue which will host the final of the controversy 2022 World Cup in Qatar writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
London-based architects Foster + Partners won the ‘design architect’ tender for the commission from the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy. The overall architectural team will also include ARUP and Populous.
Other Foster football projects include the new Wembley stadium and the proposals for redevelopment of Barcelona’s Camp Nou.
Hassan Al Thawadi, the Supreme Committee’s secretary-general, said: “We look forward to working with them in creating an iconic, contemporary stadium inspired by Qatari culture.
“Lusail Stadium will be the centre-piece of the tournament, an architecturally innovative stadium which maintains sporting functionality and delivers on our sustainability commitments.
“With this design award, our vision for the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East is taking on further shape.”
The local organising committee held its first official board meeting last month and five other stadia are in different stages of construction across the Gulf state.
A statement from the Supreme Committee said that the design competition involved “some of the world’s leading architects and stadium design consultants.”
The Lusail venue, currently bland sand, will host opening ceremony as well as the final.
Lord Foster, chairman and founder of Foster + Partners, said: “This is an exciting step forward in stadium design – it will be the first to break the mould of the free standing suburban concept, and instead anticipates the grid of this future city, of which it will be an integral part.”
He added: “The project also pioneers the idea of an ongoing life for the stadium beyond the big event. The environmental strategies, particularly those that address the players as well as the spectators, will also be of international interest to the sporting public as well as those concerned with the architecture.”
Located in Lusail City, 15km north of Doha, the stadium will have a net seating capacity of 80,000 spectators with an open-air pitch which can be cooled to an optimal 26deg C using green technologies.
The statement added: “All contracts on Lusail Stadium will incorporate the SC’s Workers Welfare Standards. Contractual enforcement of these standards and a rigorous four-tier auditing system will guarantee international best practice on Lusail Stadium and all venue and accommodation sites.”
Other Foster projects beyond sport have included the world’s largest airport terminal at Beijing, Swiss Re’s ‘Gherkin’ London headquarters, Hearst Headquarters in New York, Millau Viaduct in France, the German Parliament in the Reichstag, Berlin, The Great Court at London’s British Museum, HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong and London and the Commerzbank HQ in Frankfurt
The practice has received over 675 awards for excellence and won over 120 national and international competitions.