Al Bayt Stadion

Concept design for a tent roof structure

This concept design shows a tent roof structure for the biggest stadium in the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar and is based on the strict application of the lightweight construction principle for wide-span minimal surface structural systems. A steel cable structure is tensioned between 12 supports arranged in a large oval. The dark membrane covering has the typical saddle-shaped contours of a minimal surface form. A cable ring structure forms the opening over the football pitch, which can be temporarily covered with a convertible, centrally gathered membrane whenever necessary.

The pitch and spectator stands are arranged within the supports and structurally independent of the tent roof. The partially sunken stands are accessed halfway up at ground level and therefore via the shortest, easiest route – a particularly important aspect if they have to be evacuated in an emergency. Above the stands, the inner zone of the stadium is equipped with an interior membrane in a colour and shape that contrast with the outer skin. This creates the appearance of an architectural boundary and adds interesting accentuation. In the outer zone, the tent roof forms a deeply shaded orbital walkway that ensures a pleasant experience for the 70,000 visitors and provides access to the catering and service areas in the grandstands.

Inspired by Bedouin tents

At the client’s request, the form and colours of the Al Bayt Stadium were based on a traditional Bedouin tent. The appearance of a freestanding entity in the open desert outside the city of Al Khor accentuates this special character.

The outer side of the tent structure is secured by cables to create the appearance of a freestanding entity that is visible for miles around in the flat desert landscape. This striking landmark for the World Cup echoes traditional Bedouin tents – not just in its appearance and form, but in terms of its structural principle too: an engineered tent structure that uses the absolute minimum of materials in combination with the greatest possible structural efficiency and captivating elegance.

Design sketches

Exterior and interior views