The Education City Stadium, also known as the Qatar Foundation Stadium, was designed to be part of the Health and Wellness Precinct; a sports complex conceived as a proposed host venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.
In addition to the football stadium, the complex also was considered with an indoor aquatic centre with two Olympic size pools and a diving pool, a multipurpose sports pavilion housing an indoor athletics track and tennis academy, plus external training fields.
Although it was designed with a capacity of 40,000 spectators, the initial proposal offered the possibility that, after the World Cup, the capacity was reduced to 25,000 thanks to a modular design that facilitates dismantling of the upper seating tier.
Developed by FIA Fenwick Iribarren Architects in collaboration with Arup, aimed to achieve the LEED Gold certification, for which the initial design incorporated a variety of additional sustainable design aspects such as green roofs, photovoltaic and solar thermal panels, energy and water use reduction initiatives, and water recycling.
Leading the engineering service
For five years, Arup provided a range of services including structural design, building services, facade design, civil engineering and infrastructure, together with consulting services for stadium cooling design, sustainability, fire safety, security and ICT as well as Audio visual services.
One of the project's defining engineering aspects is the stadium bowl cooling system which aimed to guarantee player safety and spectator comfort. The concept of an open roof combined with comfort cooling is unprecedented for a stadium of this size, particularly in a climate such as Doha.
The ventilated double skin roof concept was developed to prevent hot winds disrupting the thermal conditions within the stadium. The performance of the roof design was verified by means of wind tunnel tests and complex CFD modelling. The result was a series of passive measures, including bespoke stadium roof geometry that protects the bowl environment from the harsh external conditions, minimising reliance on potentially energy-intensive active systems.
“Stadiums will always exist, no matter how far into the future we go. We only have to see the Coliseum in Rome, and how similar it is to a modern day stadium. Being able to get more and more innovative and sustainable solutions to merge architecture and engineering together is part of the challenge.” ” Mark Fenwick Architect of Health and Wellness Precint, FIA Fenwick Iribarren Architects