British company to design Qatar World Cup final stadium
DOHAMar 11, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Mar 11, 2015 12:00 am
Renowned British architects Foster and Partners was named on Monday as the designer of the stadium that will host the final of the Qatar football World Cup in 2022. The 80,000 seater stadium will be built in the purpose-built city of Lusail, some 15 kilometers) north of the capital Doha. The stadium will be the centerpiece of a huge $45 billion (38 billion euro) construction project that will see an entire new city rise from the desert in time for football's biggest tournament in seven years' time.
The decision was announced by Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, which is overseeing preparations for the World Cup in the tiny, energy-rich Gulf kingdom. Hassan Al Thawadi, the committee's secretary-general, said: "We look forward to working with them (Foster and Partners) in creating an iconic, contemporary stadium inspired by Qatari culture. Lusail Stadium will be the centerpiece of the tournament, an architecturally innovative stadium which maintains sporting functionality and delivers on our sustainability commitments." The stadium at Lusail is also expected to host the first game of the tournament as well as the opening ceremony. Lord Foster, the chairman of Foster and Partners, said it was an "honour to design this centrepiece stadium. "We are delighted to have won the international competition," he added.
The architects are an internationally acclaimed firm responsible for such projects as the redevelopment of the Reichstag Building in Berlin, the Hearst Tower in New York and, perhaps most pertinently, the revamp of Wembley Stadium in London. The company's selection comes after a long tender process. The announcement comes just weeks after a FIFA committee recommended playing the tournament in November and December 2022, because of concern over Qatar's climate. Traditionally the World Cup is played in June and July, but summer temperatures in Qatar soar above 40 degrees Celsius. The Supreme Legacy committee said in a statement that the building of the stadium in Lusail will incorporate "workers welfare standards." Last month, Qatar said it would introduce a major labour law reform to ensure thousands of workers building venues for the 2022 World Cup are paid on time. The changes, approved by Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, will see workers get paid at least once a month and in some cases every fortnight.