Khalifa Tennis Complex; Khalifa Tennis Complex;

Khalifa Tennis Complex, Doha

How to strike the perfect balance to design sustainable, successful and inspirational buildings?

A world-class complex

The New Doha Tennis Stadium (NDTS) is central to an integrated, world class sport and leisure complex that combines sporting excellence and functional efficiency, captures the imagination of the world’s greatest tennis players and creates a legacy that inspires Qatari players of all ages. Designed to Olympic, ATP, ITF, and QTF standards, the stadium comprises an ATP 1000 compliant 12,000 seat moving roof multi-purpose arena to establish Qatar at the forefront of international tennis. It also includes multi-purpose overlays for concert, conferencing and sporting modes such us basketball, volleyball, badminton, table tennis and beach volleyball.

Creating a legacy for Doha

Our architecture, sports, masterplanning, landscape and engineering teams worked collaboratively as a single collective unit to achieve a coherent and well integrated design. During this process, the intention was to provide an enduring building that clearly expresses its tennis-focussed nature – but which is unique. The result is a building form which is unlike any other tennis stadium in the world and aims to become a distinctive, universally recognised representation of Qatari tennis at the highest international level.

Located at the heart of a new world class sporting precinct; itself an intrinsic part of Doha’s new public and cultural realms. Our aspiration too is that this venue and its surrounds will lift the spirit and inspire the highest levels of attainment, whether in the sports professional, or the youngster taking his or her first sporting steps.

The 52-hectare master plan unites the historic centre of Doha, the Grand Park and State Mosque around a legacy focussed sport and leisure park that will become the new recreational heart of Doha for the 21st century.

Project Summary

52 ha masterplan

12,000seat moving roof multi-purpose arena

Architectural design

Won in competition, the architectural design is characterised by the simple, elegant expression of its two primary functional elements: the bowl, and the base. The pure form of the conical bowl balances gently on a ribbon of concourses and other accommodation at its base, which sweeps upwards from the surrounding earth to create a dramatic opening, at the centre of the new tennis complex. Together, the two components form a memorable and yet completely functional sculptural shape that it is imbued with the fluid movement of a ball in flight. The simplicity and elegance of the two components creates a sense of timelessness in the design.

Sustainable on every level

The building and surrounding complex is sustainable on every level. From a cultural point of view, promotes tennis as a focal point in Qatari sport, helping Qatari tennis players compete at the highest level of international tournament, and encouraging tennis as a popular means of social engagement in participatory sports from youth tennis to the elite game. From a commercial point of view, it is designed with exemplary facilities like VIP lounges, commercial concourses, integrated retail, restaurant and leisure facilities, and a tennis-focussed multipurpose bowl to maximise revenue opportunities. It is also environmentally sustainable: the building is self-shading, powered by the sun where possible. In cool periods, the bowl is naturally ventilated through its opening roof.

The complex, as a whole, is a socially sustainable part of the city – a destination in its own right. The stadium is designed to become a living part of the city, with its own distinctive personality; a place where families can come throughout the year to participate in a sporting and leisure events or at the many restaurants and retail outlets. Our designers created a beautiful piece of architecture that combines exemplary environmental strategies with rigorous structural engineering. During all this process, the aspiration was to maintain this spirit of elegant design and holistic sustainability in every field to create an internationally recognised place for people and a theatre for champions.

A beautiful piece of architecture combining exemplary environmental strategies with rigorous structural engineering. ” AR Future Awards judges comment

The masterplan

The masterplan vision is structured around three key principles:

  • Extending the Al Bidda Park into the heart of the Sports Park through a series of weaving hard and soft landscaped greened spaces that link key venues in and around the site.

  • Drawing together sporting venues on the site to create a world class destination organised around a central public plaza – the heart of the Sports Park.

  • Connecting into the surrounding land uses and street network to integrate the Sports Park into the wider city context and to create a variety of attractive routes and journeys through the site.

The retractable roof

The retractable roof structure is formed of two semi-circles on plan that retract away from each other when the roof is opened. A 12-point star geometry for the primary trusses reconciles the parallel track of the retractable roof while making use of circular geometry for supporting roof loads. This form of moving roof was chosen for its simplicity and robustness when compared with other moving roof systems, both in terms of the structural system and the moving roof mechanism itself. The architectural intent is to minimise the visual impact of the retractable roof by limiting the midspan depth, and providing a shallow edge around the perimeter. The surface geometry, which is defined by shallow domes on the upper and lower surfaces, provides sufficient depth to accommodate both the structure and the mechanism in order to keep them hidden from view and protected from the weather.