The stadium, which will host 10 matches in this year’s FIFA World Cup including the final, was officially opened on September 9 with a match between Saudi Pro League champions Al Hilal Saudi Arabia and Egyptian Premier League winner Zamalek.
Designed by Foster + Partners in collaboration with structural engineer Arup and sports architect Populous, the 80,000-seat stadium is located north of the Qatari capital, Doha, in Lusail. It is designed, wrapped in a golden facade, to be a wonderful addition to the emerging city.
“Our ambition was to create a stunning and simple form that reflects the building’s function, responds to Qatar’s climate and enhances the event scene,” said Foster + Partners Studio Head Luke Fox.
Described by the studio as a “golden vase,” the stadium’s shape was inspired by Islamic vessels as well as local architecture.
The perforated facade consists of many flat and triangular pieces supported on a steel frame to create the curved shape. Triangular openings in the facade refer to the stadium structure and create a perforated screen that allows light to enter the internal concourses.
According to the studio, creating an “immersive atmosphere” for players and spectators was the starting point for the design, with fans arranged as close to the stadium as possible.
The stadium is located on a wide platform, with entrance gates placed under the curve of the golden facade leading to a courtyard located between two levels of stands.
“The accessibility experience is intuitive and immersive,” Fox said.
“Spectators enter the bowl between two levels of seating that have been intentionally compressed to heighten the sense of drama when they step out into the spacious seating bowl flooded with natural light.”
The stadium is topped with a ‘wheel-shaped’ cable mesh roof that provides shade for fans and players. The 307-meter-diameter structure is one of the largest to be installed in the stadium, and has been designed along with the facade to help reduce energy consumption.
The studio explained that “the external stress ring is connected to a central tension ring by a complex cable system.” “This method creates a wide roof without the need to support columns.”
Inside the stadium, which has received a five-star rating under the Global Sustainability Assessment System, outdoor air conditioning will also be used to cool the fans.
Foster + Partners hope the stadium, which is expected to have a capacity of around 40,000 after the tournament, will become an “enduring symbol” for the country’s World Cup.
“Using the experience of redesigning Wembley Stadium with its now iconic arch, we are extremely proud to create a unique and instantly recognizable symbol for Qatar as the host of the FIFA World Cup,” said Angus Campbell, Senior Partner at Foster & Partners.
“We believe the stadium will be a truly memorable venue for this year’s final and many other international events in the future.”
Lusail Stadium is the latest to be completed ahead of the tournament, which will kick off on November 20, with the final on December 18.
Other stadiums slated to host matches during the tournament include Al Wakrah Stadium, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, a traditional Arab hat-style stadium, a pitch in a giant tent and a demountable stadium built with shipping containers.