Filled with spectators for the first time
Designed by Foster and Partners, Lusail Stadium has for the first time been filled with spectators ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. A precursor to the World Cup — to be held from November 20th until December 18th — the Lusail Super Cup final between Saudi Pro League champions, Al Hilal SFC and the Egyptian Premier League winners, Zamalek was held in the stadium on September 9th.
Luke Fox, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners, comments: ‘It was a delight to be at the game and see the stadium nearly filled with spectators for the first time. Our ambition was to create a striking yet simple form that reflects the building’s function, responds to the climate of Qatar and enhances the theatre of the event.
‘The arrival experience is intuitive and immersive. Spectators enter the vessel between two tiers of seating that have been intentionally compressed to heighten the sense of drama as they emerge into the generous seating bowl flooded with natural light.’
images courtesy Foster and Partners
lusail stadium: learning from its context
The design of Foster and Partners’ Lusail Stadium was informed by an in-depth analysis of the brief, alongside an ‘appreciation of the climatic and cultural heritage of Qatar.’ Referencing the region’s vernacular architecture and the country’s ancient tradition of craftsmanship, the ‘seating bowl’ takes shape to suggest a ‘burnished golden vessel which sparkles against the sunlight.’ Triangular openings across the facade are a visual reinforcement of the bowl’s structural diagrid, forming a perforated screen to lend shade and filtered light across the interior concourses.
With its high-performance façades and an innovative roof design, the project succeeds in reducing the building’s energy consumption. Seeking to maximize comfort within the open-air stadium, the architects employ outdoor cooling technologies. The team notes that with these environmentally-minded strategies, the complex has achieved a five-star rating under the Global Sustainability Assessment System. See designboom’s previous coverage here.
foster + partners’ larger-than-life design
Aiming to introduce an immersive atmosphere for both players and spectators, Foster and Partners enhanced the relationship between the pitch and the seating bowl of Lusail Stadium. Visitors are invited to access the stadium by way of a broad, welcoming podium. Once inside, the bowl acts as a contained ‘vessel’ which comes to life during matches and events. The stadium has taken shape as the largest in the region, with the capacity to host spectacular international events.
The building is topped with a ‘spoke-wheel’ cable net roof. With a diameter of 307 meters (1,007 feet), it has become one of the world’s largest tensile cable-net roof in a stadium, at once bringing environmental comfort and unifying the entire bowl under a single envelope. The roof’s outer compression ring is linked to a central tension ring with a complex system of cables. The team notes that ‘this method creates a wide-expanse roof without the need for supporting columns.’
a new icon for lusail
The design team employs a muted sand-colored palette which continues from the intricate facade to the colors of the seats. These neutral shades create a calming contrast to the vibrancy of the spectators wearing their team colors. The architects explain: ‘Playful with scale and geometrically elegant, the new Lusail Stadium will be an enduring symbol for Qatar’s post FIFA World Cup™ legacy. The purity and simplicity of stadium’s form make it an iconic addition to the city skyline.’
Angus Campbell, Senior Partner, Foster + Partners, continues: ‘Using the experience of redesigning Wembley Stadium with its now iconic arch, we are incredibly proud to have created a unique and instantly recognisable symbol for Qatar as host of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, including the final in Lusail.
‘Together with our joint venture partner, Arup and sports specialist Populous, we believe the stadium will be a truly memorable venue for this year’s final and many other international events in the future.’
the stadium hosted the Lusail Super Cup final on September 9th, 2022