The World’s First Underground StadiumBy: Daryl | September 23rd, 2008
Seems to me that the Middle East is the future of football. Man City’s new Abu Dhabi based owners now making some very sensible noises – less about buying C-Ron and more about faith in Mark Hughes and long term investment in the youth academy – which is good news for everyone concerned (including Man City if you ask me).
And over in Doha, Qatar this incredible new stadium is being built for the Al-Ahli team to play in (not to be confused with the Egyptian Al-Ahli). Designed by MZ & Partners, it’s called “The Wall”, and will apparently be the world’s first underground stadium: open-air but air-conditioned. Welcome to the future kids.
I don’t know much about architecture, but I have a friend who does and they tell me that form should follow function. Because it gets damn hot in Doha, stadiums need to be built cool. And where’s cooler than underground? The only aboveground feature is the upper part of the main stand, which is why the stadium has already been nicknamed “The Laptop”.
Here’s what the stadium will look like from above ground:
And, crucially, from inside:
Actually that looks like it’s from inside a corporate box. If you ever manage to actually see the inside of a corporate box in Qatar for realsies then congratulations: you are extremely wealthy.
Apparently the stadium will open in 2010 and seat just 11,000, which makes Qatar’s possible 2018 World Cup bid a bit of a longshot (unless it’s possible to expand, which I’ll bet it is).
But I’m still oddly excited by this, if only because I’m completely sick of seeing English Premier League stadiums that all look more or less identical. Same design, different colour paint. If Middle Eastern money is the future of the Premier League, then maybe we’ll eventually see some of this innovative design come to England.
Want to build your own? Here are the plans: (via SkyscraperCity Forums)
[via Times Online]