Stadium 974 in Doha

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Probably the most innovative of the eight stadiums newly built for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.

Stadium 974 will not be rebuilt after the World Cup, but dismantled. That is new.

Stadium 974 stadium is one of the most inno­va­tive of the eight stadia for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and is also planned to fully resolve the legacy issue. After the tour­na­ment it will be enti­rely dismantled and shipped to other loca­tions.

The idea of using ship­ping contai­ners, a trans­port module used in world commerce, enables the struc­ture as well as the stadium faci­li­ties, toilets, retail areas and prayer rooms to be unplugged,

disas­sem­bled and then shipped to other count­ries or distri­buted to other areas of Qatar.

The very first thought when confron­ting a white sheet of paper was to develop another iconic and amazing stadium design. However, the design team, formed with our office, and Schlaich Berger­mann & Part­ners as Struc­tural Engi­neers, and Hilson Moran as MEP Engi­neers, began from the very begin­ning to feel this was an oppor­tu­nity to develop some­thing never done before, a stadium which would finally resolve the legacy values for such an inter­na­tional event.

Stadium 974 wants to be the opposite of a “white elephant”, namely completely demountable and transportable.

So many times have count­ries deve­loped foot­ball stadia for a major event, whether a World Cup or the Olym­pics, which after­wards had no real economic or soci­ally sustainable legacy use. Stadia after major inter­na­tional events have been left to rot, as the massive costs of their upkeep

were not accounted for in any budgets due to the lack of a real econo­mic­ally sustainable legacy plan. Many such expen­sive and unde­r­used ‘white elephant’ struc­tures can be found in count­ries such as Greece, Russia, Brazil and South Africa.

 The need for the stadium to be dismounted and taken to other loca­tions is para­mount for the success of the idea. For this reason the archi­tects and engi­neers strove to estab­lish rational and cost-effec­tive cons­truc­tion methods, with as few parts as possible, essen­ti­ally by applying module elements.

Stadium 974, whose indus­trial design process ensures a fully FIFA-compliant venue, will host games up to the round of 16 stages of the World Cup. It has a tour­na­ment capa­city of 47,500 seats and is the only stadium in this or any past World Cup which has a total capa­city of 0 seats after the event.
974 contai­ners were installed to prepare the stadium for the World Cup.

Stadium 974 is located directly by the sea.This provides the opportunity to load and unload the stadium containers.

If a stadium is to be cost-effec­tive there needs to be a ratio­na­li­sa­tion of the struc­tural and engi­nee­ring systems. A system which is able to be repeated is essen­tial to achie­ving a cost-effec­tive project, allo­wing for both simple cons­truc­tion and simple and effec­tive decon­s­truc­tion.

The main idea for the stadium was to use stan­dar­dised ship­ping contai­ners as the prime ‘buil­ding blocks’.

Stadium 974 is located on a magni­fi­cent site close to the sea, by the Doha Corniche and Bay. It is situated on the east side of Doha, very close to the old airport. The site has direct access to the water, and hence the ability to load and unload the contai­ners of the stadium.

The entire stadium was built with only ten different modules.

This stadium requires two diffe­rent modular systems. The first is to estab­lish a grid column-and-beam struc­ture (Meccano concept) and the second is to have modular volumes for the stadium’s diffe­rent uses (Lego concept).

This solu­tion means the project is totally modular. The columns and beams are all desi­gned to be bolted toge­ther, allo­wing for easy assembly during cons­truc­tion; after the event the whole struc­ture can be unbolted, disas­sem­bled and trans­ported with great ease.

Every portion of the stadium is built using a regular and repe­ti­tive steel frame system. The straight steel members of the beams and columns arrive at the site in contai­ners or as bulk cargo. In most cases the base grid measures 9 m x 8.5 m in plan, except in the corners where the base grid is radial. In total, the entire stadium can be cons­tructed with just ten diffe­rent modules.

Stadium 974 could become a milestone in sports architecture for major events. Especially if we see it again at the next World Cup.

The whole stadium will be dismantled and stored in contai­ners when the World Cup event is over. The contai­ners are to be loaded onto a cargo ship and trans­ported to desti­na­tions with future sports infra­struc­ture demands. It would take appro­xi­m­ately three years from stadium disas­sembly to complete re-erec­tion of a fully opera­tive stadium at a new loca­tion. This includes the trans­por­ta­tion of contai­ners with all part kits and the assembly phase.

The stadium could thus be fully func­tional for any subse­quent major sport event such as the 2026 Asian or FIFA World Cup.

The indus­trial character of the contai­ners not only gives the stadium a truly spec­ta­cular “form follows func­tion” façade, the whole project could become a mile­stone in sports archi­tec­ture for major events. Let’s hope we see Stadium 974 again some­where else in the future.

Project data


Supreme Committee for
Legacy and Deli­very


Stadium 974
QAT — Doha




© Fenwick Iribarren Archi­tects


Fenwick Iribarren Archi­tects

© Fenwick Iribarren Architects



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