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Basrah Sports City



Project Status


Year Completed






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Project Description

Basrah Sports City includes a 65,000-seat soccer stadium surrounded by a manmade lake in the shape of Iraq. The complex also contains a 10,000-seat secondary stadium, four training soccer fields, team housing facilities, a VIP guesthouse and associated infrastructure buildings.

Iraq’s selection to host the 2013 Gulf Cup of Nations, a biennial soccer tournament for Arab countries, drove the development of the project, which is located outside the southern port city of Basrah. Iraq’s Ministry of Youth and Sport wanted this project to spur growth and development in the area while also introducing Iraqi athletes to the world stage.

HOK’s design of the marquee venue reflects local architectural influences, recalling a proud past while serving as a bridge to a modern era. Inspiration for the main stadium design came from Basrah’s timeless and essential icons, from the date palm tree to traditional woven goods. Paying homage to the patterned facades of traditional Iraqi homes, the textured skin also provides a functional response to the local climate.

By integrating graceful yet strong forms and surfaces, the architecture expresses the speed, power and perpetual movement of soccer.

The project is the largest sports facility built in Iraq. HOK teamed with Iraqi contractor Abdullah Al-Jiburi and associate architect/engineers RMC-Partners to deliver the project under a design-build contract. Use of 3D modeling, animation and web meeting technologies helped the multinational team work efficiently while overcoming geographic and language barriers. Additional engineering and design consultants included Thornton Tomasetti, WSP Group, Langan Engineering, Lloyd Engineering, WJHW and Cini-Little.

-- Courtesy HOK
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