Whilst the eyes of football fans worldwide will have been firmly fixed on the football during the FIFA World Cup 2022, the Oceanbox team has been more interested on getting a glimpse of Stadium 974. Strange? Not really – especially when it’s a modular container construction from shipping containers!
Designed by a Spanish firm of architects, Fenwich Iribarren Architects, in conjunction specialist structural engineers, Stadium 974 is made from 974 shipping containers, and the name and number reflects the international dialling code for Qatar – a nice touch and a nod to the fact that Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup puts the country in the spotlight.
Connecting the stadium to its environment
One reason for using shipping containers in the construction of the stadium is location, positioned as it is very close to Doha’s port – we love that the architects have chosen to link the stadium to its environment in such a way. We also like that there has been no attempt to disguise the containers as anything other than shipping containers. Approaching the stadium, there is a colourful mix of containers – splashes of bright yellow, red, blue and green that look fantastic in the sun – stacked within a steel skeletal structure made with an amount of recycled materials. Internally, the stadium looks relatively conventional but some of the containers have become bathrooms or are being used as concession stands.
Built-in environmental credentials
Part of the intention behind the build was to reduce the cost of construction – no matter how much economic reward comes with hosting a major sporting event, the cost of creating the necessary infrastructure can be immense. This particular stadium represents a saving in cost, build time and, through reuse of materials, a reduction in material waste. Even better, many of the containers used in the construction also transported other materials required for the build – a perfect example of one-way leasing! Ultimately, the architects aimed to achieve certification in the Global Sustainability Assessment System and all sorts of green solutions have been designed in to the construction, including ensuring natural ventilation that negates the need for any kind of air cooling system.
Modular container construction
Designed to hold crowds of up to 40,000, the modular construction is designed with the aim of being deconstructed and moved to a different location after the World Cup or even divided to create a selection of smaller venues. This in itself is innovative – never before in FIFA’s history has a demountable stadium been created. We couldn’t ask for a better advert for the reuse of shipping containers. Stadium 974 is certainly going to make more and more people think about just how versatile containers can be – whilst they are widely used across many industries already, this high profile example may just spark even more innovative thinking.
Meanwhile, we look forward to seeing how these 974 repurposed shipping containers are repurposed yet again!