Modified steel shipping containers are being used to construct the Ras Abu Aboud stadium in Qatar for the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
The stadium’s modular design, the first of its kind to be used for a World Cup, means that it can be completely disassembled after the football tournament’s conclusion and moved to an entirely new location.
One of the eight venues in Qatar that will host the tournament’s group and quarter final matches, the Ras Abu Aboud will seat 40,000 spectators at its waterfront location in Doha, and is expected to be completed in 2020.
Designed by Fenwick Iribarren Architects, the stadium’s principle structure is formed of a steel frame similar to those used in large scale warehouse projects. This frame will be divided into sections allowing for modified shipping containers to be used as the main building blocks.
The majority of the stadium’s major functions, including seating, bathroom facilities and food stalls for spectators will operate within the shipping containers. These will be arranged in an “elegant curved square” which will give the venue an iconic aesthetic.
Tournament legacy has become more important for each iteration of the World Cup, and every aspect of this stadium can be demounted and reassembled at another location or repurposed into a number of smaller venues once the football has concluded.
A stadium of two halves
The costs of hosting international tournament football are huge and Ras Abu Aboud’s design significantly lessens the financial implications. The use of prefabricated modular elements significantly reduces construction time, while also lowering waste generation during production.
The stadium structure reduces the project’s carbon footprint due to reduced waste generation and less need for construction materials. The dockside location also uses natural sea breezes to lessen the requirements on the stadium’s cooling system.
After the conclusion of the tournament, the stadium site itself will be converted into a large public park with an adjacent retail space.
The stadium and post-tournament site will be serviced by Doha’s newly opened Gold line metro system. The line will service 11 stations along its 14km of steel rail, moving the huge numbers of spectators expected for the World Cup and providing easy access to the Ras Abu Aboud industrial district which contains major power and desalination plants.
The stadium’s steel-built legacy can serve as a test case for host nations of other large-scale international events, kick-starting a new era of sustainable tournament infrastructure.