Designing with a passion for football


Giving football players, supporters and match officials the feeling of playing in the open air while designing a stadium and its associated facilities within four walls was the challenge faced by RAW-NYC Architects.

The client required the concept design for the Aspire Sports Complex in Doha, Qatar to include two pitches, along with a reception, offices, café, a viewing gallery, sports store, changing rooms and showering and sanitary facilities.

The architects said what they needed to create was a sporting community which made players, spectators and staff at the centre, all feel that they were part of a natural arena for sports – using natural light, passive cooling and landscaped space to create the likeness of an outdoor stadium.


The design forms part of a large-scale sports-themed development in the city including medical facilities, stadia and indoor arenas.

“What was required was the project gave everyone involved the idea that they were taking part in sport played or watched out of doors,” said architect Raya Ani.

“The client has a real passion for football and when they were younger had no real place to play. So they wanted to give young people the chance to really experience what football is about.”

The architects are also currently examining ways to cool the temperature within the walls by using ceramic materials that contain water.

Passive technology such as evaporative cooling of the air stream is also planned with air passed through damp pads, falling water or liquid sprayed into the airstream.

“Sustainability was a very important part of the design,” said Ani. ““I am an outdoor sort of person – and I wanted the building to be able to be able to breath.”



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