A new sculpture has risen in the desert of Qatar: “East-West/West-East,” Richard Serra‘s second public commission by the Gulf nation. Sited in a barren landscape that was suggested by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the former Emir, the installation is comprised of four steel plates incrementally placed and standing perpendicular to the ground.
Much like Serra’s first Qatari sculpture – “7″ in Doha – the German rolled steel structure will oxidize, changing from gray to orange and eventually a dark amber, much like the Seagram Building in midtown, said Serra in an interview with The New Yorker. The artist hopes it will become a landmark within the country.
A selection of images from architecture photographer Nelson Garrido, after the break.
Qatar‘s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has unveiled the fifth proposed venue planned for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, this time designed by London-based Pattern Architects. Titled ”Al Rayyan Stadium,” the 40,000-seat Qatari-inspired structure will be built on the site of the former Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, of which 90 percent of its materials generated from demolition are expected to be re-used for either public art projects or on the new stadium.
Foster + Partners has been chosen ahead of David Chipperfield Architects, Mossessian & Partners and Mangera Yvars Architects to design the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar centerpiece – the Lusail Stadium. The British practice will now move forward with its competition-winning scheme (first proposed in 2010) with the help of stadium experts ARUP and Populous.
“It is an honor to design this centerpiece stadium – we are delighted to have won the international competition. This is an exciting step forward in stadium design – it will be the first to break the mould of the free standing suburban concept, and instead anticipates the grid of this future city, of which it will be an integral part,” said Norman Foster, founder of Foster + Partners.
Spanish-Kuwaiti firm AGi architects has been awarded second prize in a competition to design a new courthouse in Qatar’s capital, Doha. The restricted competition, organized by the Government of Qatar, challenged 30 participants, of which four were shortlisted to compete in the final round.
AGi’s proposal was based off of two grids – the immediate site’s and the larger city – resulting in a “floating,” canopy-like structure that metaphorical “protects” its inhabitants. View the complete proposal, after the break.
New York-based firm M Castedo Architects have unveiled their designs for the “Silver Pearl Hotel”, a 1000-room luxury resort and conference facility for the Qatar 2022 World Cup located 1.5 kilometers off the Doha coastline. The $1.6 billion design consists of two 30-story semicircular towers connected by a full height, transparent climate controlled atrium, with unimpeded views of the sea beyond. Access to the hotel will be provided by a four lane elevated causeway over the sea – or alternatively by private yacht or helicopter, say the architects.
A new, 40,000-seat stadium has been unveiled in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Planned for Qatar’s Education City, the home of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), the “Qatar Foundation Stadium” is the fourth stadium design that has been released by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC).
The structure is intended to reference Islamic architecture. Both the interior and exterior will be clad in translucent triangular panels whose color and patterns will shift throughout the day, depending on the position of the sun and influence of artificial illumination which will reflect the events happening from within the stadium.
Read on after the break for more on the design.
On one of Qatar‘s many World Cup construction sites, another Nepalese worker dies. The worker is not named; their death does not make the news, and work resumes on the site as soon as possible in order to make the 2022 construction deadline. But, in the desert outside Doha, a crane driver solemnly prepares to add one more concrete module to what has rapidly, and tragically, become one of Qatar’s tallest towers.
This is the vision presented by Axel de Stampa and Sylvain Macaux, of the Paris and Santiago-based practice 1week1project, with their “Qatar World Cup Memorial.” Designed as one of their week-long “spontaneous architecture” projects, the monument memorializes each deceased worker in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy has released images of the third 2022 World Cup Stadium planned for Qatar. Revamping an existing 40-year-old stadium at Gulf Cup in Riyadh, the Khalifa International Stadium will be expanded to accommodate 40,000 spectators and equipped with an “innovative cooling technology” that will allow players to compete at a comfortable 26 degrees Celsius.
Read on after the break for more on the design.
Aiming to encourage the use of public transportation as a valid alternative to private transportation, Qatar Rail has appointed UNStudio to design the stations for the first phase of the Greater Doha Metro Network, part of the Qatar Integrated Railway Project (QIRP). With the first phase consisting of 30 stations on 4 metro lines, UNStudio has created an “Architectural Branding Manual,” a set of design guidelines, architectural details and material outlines which will be used by the design & build firms on each station to ensure the design quality and coherence of the network as a whole.
Last week Zaha Hadid filed a libel lawsuit against critic Martin Filler, after Filler’s review of Rowan Moore’s book “Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture” for the New York Review of Books included a scathing section on Hadid. In the article Filler said she had shown “no concern” for the death of construction workers in Qatar, where she designed a stadium for the 2022 World Cup. Now, Filler has admitted to a significant error in the article he wrote, The New York Times has reported. In an amendment to his article Filler acknowledges that the quotes he used from Hadid were taken out of context and had “nothing to do” with the Qatar stadium she designed. Read Filler’s full statement in the New York Times article, here.
Qatar‘s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy have released images of the latest stadium designed for the 2022 World Cup. Located in Al Khor City, the Al Bayt Stadium will also be surrounded by the new Al Bayt district, which will host retail space and restaurants, as well as landscaped paths for residents to use as horseriding, cycling and jogging tracks.
The design – billed as “an entirely Qatari concept, reflecting Qatar’s proud history and culture” – is based on the Bayt Al Sha’ar, a black and white tent used traditionally by nomadic people in Qatar, which would have been a welcome symbol of hospitality for desert travelers.
Read on after the break for more on the design
The Qatar Olympic Committee has selected Grimshaw as the winner of a competition to design a series of recreational sports facilities across Qatar. Grimshaw’s design utilizes a ‘kit-of-parts’ concept to provide adaptable sports centers which suit the different requirements of each site.
The Al Farjan Recreational Sports Facilities will each feature an elevated cafe at the center of the complex, around which football, volleyball, basketball and handball facilities can be added, as well as outdoor children’s playgrounds, public amenities and social areas.
Read on after the break for more on the design.
An expert on the Middle Eastern construction industry has said that architects working in Qatar are worried about the future of their projects, following the allegations sparked by a Sunday Times report last week of corruption during the country’s 2022 World Cup bid. With many people calling for Qatar to be stripped of the event or for the bidding process to be re-run, there is a chance that Qatar might have to pull the plug on many of its major projects.
Speaking to the Architects’ Journal Richard Thompson, the Editorial Director of the Middle East Economics Digest, said “A lot of people out here are watching it nervously.”
Read on for more of the comments made by Thompson
Four firms have been shortlisted to design Qatar‘s Lusail Stadium, the centerpiece for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Foster + Partners, David Chipperfield Architects, Mossessian & Partners and Mangera Yvars Architects are now competing to design the 80,000 seat stadium which will host the international event alongside Zaha Hadid‘s Al Wakrah stadium and others.
Read on after the break for more on the shortlist
Zaha Hadid’s unfortunate comments in response to worker deaths on construction sites for the 2022 World Cup has made Qatar the eye of a storm that has been raging globally for decades. But it’s not just about Qatar. This has been an issue for as long as there have been construction sites and for as long as poor people have swarmed to them for a chance at a better life.
Construction booms and migrant construction workers have always been two sides of the same equation, both dependent on the other, and, by the twisted logic of the global economy, both are the reason for the other’s existence. No migrant labor pool = no global city = no fantastic architecture, or something to this effect.
The migrant workers are the silent collaborators in global architecture, the invisible, faceless, “untouchables” who make the cost-effective construction of these buildings possible.