Saturday, July 25, 2009
World's First Underground Stadium
If all goes to plan, ‘The Wall’ stadium in Doha, Qatar’s capital city, will claim two firsts: The world’s first underground stadium and the world’s first open-air, air-conditioned stadium. There’s a long way to go however and the stadium is not due to be completed untl 2010 at the earliest, however if the finished product looks anything like the plans released by MZ & Partners Architects then paying spectators are in for a treat.
After looking at the stadium from above you can immediately see why The Wall has already gained the nickname ‘The Laptop’. The stadium’s main stand sits upright, the majority of its height emerging from the underground pitch as if having been lifted opened by an enormous referee. There will be no traditional floodlights, a feature the architects seem to be quite proud of, as all lights will be embedded within the surrounding architecture, adding to the stadium’s mystical feel.
So why underground? Obviously it’s a great coup to have the world’s first underground stadium but there’s one invaluable benefit, especially in a climate such as Qatar’s: temperature control. A subterranean stadium should ensure that the pitch and its spectators retain a cool, bearable atmosphere naturally without the need to spend millions of pounds on air-conditioning.
The stadium is apparently part of Doha’s forthcoming bid to host the 2018 World Cup and if the location was decided purely down to stadium architecture, they may have a chance. The one concern? The Wall will only be able to seat 11′000 people.