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Qatar’s quest to educate through a stadium: How a ”diamond in the desert” is going to change the country

”A diamond in the desert.” This is how the Education City Stadium, one of the eight venues for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup was dubbed, an arena that had already been properly tested before the world football flagship football tournament, with the 2020 FIFA World Cup, won by German powerhouse Bayern Munchen, taking place in the venue.

Located 13km from the centre of Qatar’s capital, Doha, and at the heart of Qatar Foundation – a vibrant centre for knowledge and innovation – the Education City Stadium is one of the most complexes that will host the tournament that spans between 20 November and 18 December.

The facade of the stadium features triangles that form complex, diamond-like geometrical patterns which appear to change colour with the sun’s movement across the sky. The stadium’s design represents quality, durability and resilience and will become both an architectural marvel and a crucial part of Qatar’s legacy for sports after the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

At night, the stadium will transform into a digital light show produced by lighting design embedded into its envelope, capable of highlighting geometric patterns with a multicolour show. Minute breaks in the tessellating assembly allow light from inside the structure to filter outwards, such that a warm glow will appear to emanate from the building at night.

According to the Local Organising Committee, the stadium, which was built by sourcing at least 20% of the materials used from sustainable sources, will set an example for the use of intelligent building systems that conserves the energy of things such as automatic lighting and air conditioning units.

It became only the third venue inaugurated for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and it cost a staggering amount of $700 million, with state-of-the-art facilities ready to be used by all the teams that will feature in it in the competition. In total, eight games of the competition will be played here, including a Round of 16 games and a quarter-final.

“The stadium is equipped with premium facilities to accommodate all stakeholders from match audiences to football players. For example, the stadium can host more than one football match per day. It is equipped with four dressing rooms instead of the standard two dressing rooms option found in other stadiums. It also has a cooling system in the bowl and the spectators’ tiers, making the experience more comfortable, especially during summer,” according to Muneera Al Jabir, the Education City Stadium’s project manager.

After the competition, the first-ever FIFA World Cup edition to be held in the Middle East, the stadium’s capacity will be cut in half, to 20.000 spectators, due to the use of modular seating, like in every arena that will host games at Qatar 2022.

The stadium is the first Qatar 2022 tournament venue to achieve a five-star design and build rating from the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS).

The upper tier of the stadium will be totally modified, allowing it to cater to specific needs with “Academyati” and “Qatar Academy for Science and Technology”, which are under the umbrella of pre-university education at Qatar Foundation, will have Education City Stadium as their premises. The 20.000 removed seats will be donated to support the construction of stadiums in developing countries.

The former was founded in 2019, an innovative school that follows a new curriculum based on the interests of students, focusing on experiential learning and designing individual learning models for each student, noting that the school building will include 23 basic educational spaces, in addition to a space for teaching visual arts and music and a hall a multipurpose athlete, the Academy will strive to meet the needs of students between the ages of 3 and 18.

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