The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the organization in charge of preparing the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, announced that British architecture firm Foster + Partners will design the Lusail Stadium. The London-based design studio founded by Norman Foster, Hon. FAIA, was chosen to design the flagship stadium after participating in an international design competition after Qatar won the bid to host the games in Dec. 2010. However, this design competition was not for the flagship stadium, and sources have not confirmed if they will use the same design scheme.
While Foster + Partners is carrying out the architectural design, London-based Arup—in collaboration with Kansas City, Mo.–based sports architecture firm Populous, which designed the main stadium for the London 2012 Olympics—will oversee the engineering. The project, which will host both the opening game and closing ceremony, boasts 80,000 seats and is expected to be the largest of Qatar’s World Cup arenas. Eight venues have been confirmed thus far, including the controversial stadium by starchitect Zaha Hadid, Hon. FAIA.
According to the statement released by SC, Foster’s stadium will be the centerpiece of Lusail, a new city being planned by international developer Qatari Diar, located on the western coast of the country about nine miles north of Doha. The master planned project is estimated to cost $45 billion and expected to be home to 400,000 people.
“This is an exciting step forward in stadium design – it will be the first to break the mould of the free standing suburban concept, and instead anticipates the grid of this future city, of which it will be an integral part,” said Foster in the SC statement.
At the risk of spectators and athletes suffering from the sweltering heat during the summer months, the stadium will feature cooled and shaded spectator stands so that it can be brought down to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (or 26 degrees Celsius). According to Business Insider, the average temperature in Doha during this seasons is about 105. However, about two weeks ago the FIFA Executive Committee decided the games should be played between November and December—making Dec. 23 the final play date. But both options have their downfalls, since the rescheduled games conflict with the Winter Olympics. The FIFA task force will come to a final decision at the end of March.