A team from Germany believes it has created the most sustainable solution for the Qatar 2022 World Cup – a floating 65,000-seater stadium that can be transported to another offshore location after the event.
Countries that host a major sporting competition are often left with ‘white elephant’ stadia than are not frequently used after the event. This has opened many debates on the economic and environmental viability of building permanent stadia for such competitions.
The floating stadium concept is a collaboration between architects at stadiumconcept and stadium experts of arenaCom. Peter Knoebel, managing director, stadiumconcept, said: “The idea was born by looking at Qatar’s special situation.
“For 2022, Qatar announced nine new stadia. With the upgrading of three existing stadia, they will reach a total of 600,000 seats. But with 1.5 million inhabitants and a football league with only 10 teams, this capacity is not needed after the tournament. So we started developing [this concept], which combines many advantages concerning sustainable use, eco-efficiency and refinancing.”
Knoebel added: “Our vision is a stadium that can be used sustainably because of its worldwide usability, that will minimise construction costs and other implementation risks for future hosts. [It will also be a] unique landmark.”
The floating stadium sits on a large pontoon disk and is constructed with recyclable and low-energy materials. It would also utilise energy-efficient diesel generators, solar panels and mobile wind turbines.
The creators added that the design will adhere to the current guidelines of FIFA and UEFA for the construction of new stadia. “In some areas we are even far beyond the minimum requirements of FIFA,” said arenaCom CEO Thomas Speck, who is currently an independent senior consultant in the construction of the EURO 2012 stadia in Wroclaw (Poland), Lviv and Kharkiv (both Ukraine).
A total of 180 VIP boxes with associated areas are integrated into the arena, as well as office space for the LOC and FIFA, exhibition space for sponsors, different restaurant areas, a hotel, fitness centre, casino and additional conference and retail space. The designers said it is feasible to extend the capacity to 88,000 or add a closable roof.