The curiosities of the 974 Stadium, the headquarters of the Qatar World Cup made with containers: what will be its destiny after the World Cup

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This is Stadium 974 of the Qatar World Cup

On the shores of the Gulf, located on the other side of the water that bathes the shores of the skyscrapers that embellish the area known as West Bay in Dohais the district of Ras Abu Aboud. This used to be a major industrial area, with one of the three main power stations supplying this service to the entire Qataralso a desalination plant and the city’s port, where today rests a gigantic stadium built by shipping containers waiting impatiently for the start of the FIFA World Cup. The Stadium 974 It is one of the great architectural jewels of the Arab country and one of the most important innovations that the hosts of the great football festival have carried out: it is the first removable stadium in the history of this prestigious tournament. It will be the stage in which the Argentine National Team y Mexico face off against Poland in their respective matches Group Cwhere they will also appear France, Portugal y Brazil during the group stage –it will host six matches of this stage– and one of the round of 16 matches will be played. It is one of the most spectacular and emblematic venues offered by the worldsince both its novel structure and its name are nods to the Qatari national culture.

Infobae He was at the edge of the field of play and walked through the corridors of this innovative venue with capacity for 40,000 spectators which was designed by the firm Fenwick Iribarren Architects. The construction process began in 2017when a large part of the venues were already under construction. The excavations of the land were only completed in July 2019, when the first batch of containers arrived on Qatari soil.. It is that the assembly of it was very simple: it was only necessary to place each recycled container in its place as if they were Lego piecessince they came prepared from the manufacture and it was a matter of joining them with steel moldings so that the product was finished.

This design concept not only allowed construction to be quick and much more profitable, but has also left the service of the world an elegant stadium with a curved square shape that guarantees an unbeatable atmosphere for both fans and players. Much is said about the high temperatures of Qatarwhich will logically be lower at the end of the year because the tournament will take place in winter, but the Stadium 974 It will not have full air conditioning like the rest of the fields because it was designed as an open stadium that allows crossed ventilation. They are seaside location Provides a natural cool breeze to lighten the load on cooling systems. And his name was not chosen at random. The exact number of containers materials that were used to set up the stadium was 974plus that’s the Qatar international dialing code (+974). The colors of the containers are not random either: the places where food is sold, in blue; bathrooms are in the yellow ones; the safety and first aid areas, in green; VIP tickets, VVIP and prayer rooms for men, in silver; and the prayer areas for women, in black.

Stadium 974 is made of shipping containers, has a capacity for 40,000 spectators and will be completely removed at the end of the World Cup (Photo: REUTERS)
Stadium 974 is made of shipping containers, has a capacity for 40,000 spectators and will be completely removed at the end of the World Cup (Photo: REUTERS)

The VVIP area may not be as luxurious as the one found in the Al Bayt Stadium –where there are marble floors and high-end suites– but it has all the comforts to receive great celebrities. There is a special office for Gianni Infantinopresident of the FIFA, which has a private bathroom, desk and armchairs. Also in this sector there boxes that have direct access to the stands, with bathroom included and a comfortable living room with plasma TV. Although one of the most curious details of this venue is that in the tunnel that connects the changing rooms with the playing field there is a green container with a sign that says “Last Minute Toilet”, that is, a last minute swim.

Although the dressing rooms are not far from the pitch, this detail can be important for the players of the Argentine national team when they close their participation in the group stage next November 30 ante Poland. The albiceleste delegation will have a trip of approximately half an hour (20 kilometers) to reach that commitment leaving from the University of Qatar. Although the travel times are likely to be shorter if one takes into account that there will be security operations to optimize the mobility of the teams. The Mexico national team will star in the premiere of this stadium in the World Cup by also facing the Polish national team November 22th. The round of 16 match that will take place at the 974 Stadium is scheduled for December 5 and will put the leader of group G face to face with the escort of Group H.

This project led by the English firm aims to revolutionize the FIFA World Cup in terms of organization and development. The sustainability became a central axis for Qatar since he won the candidacy to host this prestigious event and the Estadio 974 is quite a symbol of this current, since it is an itinerant structure ready to assemble, disassemble, transport and reassemble from your system numbered pieces. The end result was that the stadium received four-star certification from the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), but the sustainable legacy began even long before the start of construction. The land where this World Cup stage was built had to be decontaminated after years of industrial use.

The stadium received four-star certification from the Global Sustainability Assessment System (Photo: REUTERS)
The stadium received four-star certification from the Global Sustainability Assessment System (Photo: REUTERS)

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) spearheaded the work of remove buildings, labs, workshops and fuel tanks that was in that industrial area. Only some of the old buildings were kept, partly for their cultural and architectural value, but also to ensure that new facilities did not have to be created from scratch. More than 80% of demolition materials were reused or recycled, including metals, electronics, wood, and office or packaging waste. Almost 70,000 tons of concrete and asphalt were crushed, tested and stored for use during the construction of the stadium. There began a process that lasted only a handful of years and that has been a turning point in the development of stadiums for major sporting events. Without going any further, the idea is to remove it from the place it occupies at the end of the tournament and be able to move it to other places in the world where the World Cup event takes place, which implies much less time compared to building a stadium from scratch. In short, the Arab country has marked the way towards more sustainable competitions and much more committed to the legacy, since one of the most common problems of the organizers of the World Cups they were always the “white elephants”.

In this case, all venues will reduce their capacity by half and the Estadio 974 will be completely removed. People who live near the district of Ras Abu Aboud they will be able to enjoy in the future a green space that will begin to develop in front of the sea once the stadium is completely dismantled. The works, very common in a country in constant structural growth, will begin shortly after the final whistle that indicates the closing of the FIFA World Cupthe big event with the Qatar seeks to introduce himself to the world.

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