The Sports City Stadium to be constructed for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar could be the most expensive sports facility ever built, the architect who is designing the project has said.
Originally designed to accommodate 45,000 spectators, the stadium’s capacity is now being increased to 65,000 which could take its cost past $2bn, Dan Meis was quoted as saying on the website sportingnews.com.
“A lot of the cost is the fact that it’s much more than a stadium,” Meis said.
“That’s kind of the big idea, that it’s a full entertainment destination in one building. It’s a mall, it includes a hotel tower, an office tower and a media tower that all support this giant floating roof and there’s occupied space up on the roof, as well. There are places where you can look from the roof of the building down to the pitch or to the plaza.”
Meis, a senior principal at the international architectural firm Populous based in Kansas City, said the final cost would not be known until he completed a more detailed design, but in the end it could “creep up to $2bn and change”.
The Sports City Stadium, one of 12 facilities being built for the mega event, would also be among the most technologically advanced, with removable seats that can scale the building down to a 10,000-seat amphitheatre.
The project is inspired by the shape of a Bedouin tent, but Meis has integrated flexible design elements into it, enabling them to adapt to their environment.
“The notion of these tents that were flexible and could grow, depending on the number of people utilising them, was really interesting,” Meis had earlier told Wired.com.
The stadium will have a partially retractable roof, which will open and close in 15 to 20 minutes. The technology to adjust seating is based on Japan’s Saitama Stadium, also designed by Meis.
Large seating blocks move on trucks and they can slide back and be moved elsewhere to open up space. They are similar to the retractable field used at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
The cooling system will be combined with the stadium’s retractable roof, extending its reach beyond the pitch to plazas outside the venue to create an oasis-like feel in the desert.
An in-stadium cooling system will be installed to help players and spectators from overheating in a climate where temperatures surpass 100 degrees. Water will run through an absorption chiller that will chill the water and send it into another tank. The tank will pump 64-degree air at the ankle and neck level in each row of seats. The air will be distributed throughout the stadium, eventually producing an 80 degree temperature near the soccer pitch.
Meis said he wanted the venue to have a lasting effect. “Often countries will build stadiums for the events, and they have difficulty utilising the building afterwards,” he said, citing Beijing’s 2008 Olympic Bird’s Nest as an example.
The Sports City Stadium design is inspired by the shape of a Bedouin tent
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