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Project in Detail

King Abdullah Sports City Stadium

Future Projects - Leisure led development
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Arup Associates
2012
World Architecture Festival 2012 - Shortlisted

Main Approach to the Stadium 


King Abdullah Sports City Stadium- A ‘jewel in the desert’.


The King Abdullah Sports City (KASC) project aspires to create inspirational, world-class sporting facilities for Saudi Arabia, a launchpad for a paradigm shift in participatory sport among Saudi citizens. The design is intended to imbue this international venure with a strong sense of its specific place and environment; a contemporary architecture that sustains the people and cultures around it.

KASC is located 3km to the north of Jeddah’s International Airport, the hub for the annual Hajj. A fast growing city, this area of Jeddah has massive transport, infrastructure and masterplanning projects currently underway.

The site itself is bounded by the two main northbound arterial routes out of Jeddah. It will contain a 60,000 seat football stadium, 10,000 seat multi-purpose sports hall, 1000 seat athletics stadium, extensive outdoors training and playing facilities and a mosque. The complex, designed by Arup and Arup Associates, will significantly transform the quality and extent of sporting facilities not only to the city, but to the country and region as a whole, providing an interactive sports centre with year-round utilization.

At the center of the masterplan will be Kingdom’s first purpose-built FIFA standard football venue. It will be home to Jeddah’s two Premier League clubs, Al-Ittihad FC and Al-Ahli SC.

Within the project are support functions to serve a major FIFA sporting venue. Including a 5-star quality premium lounge, boxes and VVIP facilities; amenities for visiting top international athletes; and facilities to serve a demanding local and world press.


The Bowl & Concourse
The integrated multi-disciplinary design team has carefully choreographed the total spectator experience from buying a ticket to taking a seat. Every step has been considered holistically to realise the potential for fully immersive and highly exciting events to be staged.
Providing the perfect seating bowl has been at the heart of the design approach. Parametrically sculpted to ensure every seat has exemplary sightlines and as-close-as-possible proximity to the pitch, the outcome is an elegant, curvaceous bowl with maximized number of seats in the most desired east and west sides of the pitch. The form of this bowl defines the shape and form of the stadium itself

Typically football matches in Saudi Arabia take place at night-time with the peak number of matches in the cooler months. As a result Arup were able to design the three tier, 60,000 seat bowl to be completely naturally ventilated. Air is drawn in from the concourses and up out through the centre of the roof. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modeling was used to determine the optimum extent of roof and openings within the bowl; balancing the conflicting needs of shading the concrete to avoid radiant heat, giving sunlight to the grass and allowing good ventilation to provide breezes to reach down to the pitch and players.

The main level 3 concourse around the bowl is a unique and very dramatic triple-height space. The concourse is raised above the masterplan and wraps around the stadium to provide a promenade with fantastic views back over the masterplan and towards Jeddah and the nearby creek. This fantastic space will have direct 360 degree views right into the bowl and will be filled with the roar of the crowd.


The Roof & Facade
Structure and architecture are completely integrated. The 3D cantilevered roof trusses and tie-downs create an efficient load-sharing structural system and the geometric foundation for the diagrid, semi-open external screens that shade the concourses, articulating a radical contemporary expression of Islamic patterns, forms and spaces.

Running round the stadium is a structurally efficient ribbon of bracing and tie-down V-frames. This sets up a language of diagonals and provides a grid for a mashrabiya screen of on-and-off solid and perforated diamond infill metal panels giving dappled shade and channeling cool breezes. The bowl behind will provide backlighting at night, allowing the building to glow through the screen.

The bowl is perceived as an extension of the sands around, over which is placed the gem-like roof and shimmering mashrabiya screen. These two elements unite to evoke a jewel-like presence in the desert that responds to its cultural and environmental context.

Lead Architect »

Arup Associates
 

Professional Credits »

Acoustics Consultant
Arup
United Kingdom

Architect
Arup Associates
United Kingdom

Civil Engineer
Arup
United Kingdom

Client / Developer
Saudi Aramco Ltd
Saudi Arabia

Cost Consultant
E C Harris
United Kingdom

Environmental Engineer
Arup
United Kingdom

Interior Designer
Arup Associates
United Kingdom

Landscape Architect
Arup
United Kingdom

Lighting Consultant
Arup
United Kingdom

Main Contractor
BeSix
Belgium

Masterplanner
Arup Associates
United Kingdom

Project Manager
E C Harris
United Kingdom

Structural Engineer
Arup
United Kingdom

Sustainability Consultant
Arup
United Kingdom

Transport Engineer
Arup
United Kingdom