Qatar eyes more architects for World Cup venues

Qatar eyes more architects for World Cup venues

British architects wanting to win work on the 2022 World Cup have been told there are further opportunities, after the organisers said schemes to build two more stadia would go to practices not already involved in the project.

Half of the six stadia being built in Qatar have been designed by British firms – with Foster & Partners behind the centrepiece Lusail stadium, the 80,000 seat venue which will host the final a week before Christmas in 2022.

Zaha Hadid is working with Aecom on the 40,000 seat Al Wakrah stadium while Pattern Design is carrying out work with Ramboll on the Al Rayyan stadium.

The remaining stadia have been designed by Lebanese practice Dar Al-Handasa and Spanish outfit RFA Fenwick Iribarren.

The organisers said two more stadia needed to be built which could rise by an additional four depending on a decision by FIFA on stadia numbers which will be taken at the end of the year.

Abdulaziz Ali Al-Mawlawi, one of the technical managers on the Supreme Committee, which is organising the 2022 event, said: “We are looking at new designers. They must have a stadium background and be FIFA compliant. There will be opportunities for more to engage in this project.”

He declined to say which firms the organisers were talking to.

Qatar will know by December whether it will be asked by FIFA to build the four additional stadia but Al-Mawlawi said all the venues needed for the World Cup would be built by 2020.

The event was due to be played in June and July 2022 but searing summer heat – where temperatures regularly hit 45 degrees C – has forced it to be moved back to the cooler months of November and December. The final will now be played on December 18.

“We are proud of what Qatar achieved in hosting the World Cup,” said Al-Mawlawi. “There is national pride, not just for Qatar but for the whole of the region.”

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