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Qatar assigns two firms to rebuild, arrange for cooling of Al Rayyan Stadium

A rendering of the proposed Al Rayyan Stadium used during the bid process. A final design may differ. A rendering of the proposed Al Rayyan Stadium used during the bid process. A final design may differ. (Qatar)

Getting Qatar’s reconstructed Al Rayyan Stadium cool enough for World Cup 2022 will fall squarely as the responsibility of AECOM and Denmark-based designer Ramboll.

Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy announced that AECOM picked up its second stadium project management job for the event eight years away, placing the Los Angeles-based company in charge of rebuilding Al Rayyan to hold 40,000 fans, entertain with a media skin around the outside and keep fans cooled to between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius and the open-air, natural-grass pitch cooled to 26 degrees Celsius.

But getting the stadium cool will be up to Ramboll, which has built in Qatar in the past. AECOM press materials state “Ramboll’s in-depth knowledge of cooling technology will ensure that the stadium is designed in a sustainable and considered manner.”

Lars Ostenfeld Riemann, Ramboll’s buildings director, says cooling the stadium proves a “significant task” that will require overcoming technical challenges.

Cooling technology is expected for within the stadium, but also in adjacent fan zones and “other areas where fans, team delegations, match officials, media representatives and football administrators will congregate.” Translation: They’re looking for cooling anywhere anyone will walk.

The stadium itself will undergo work to add a modular top tier that nearly doubles the stadium’s capacity. Following the World Cup, the top tier will get disassembled. A new digital skin able to display images will wrap the stadium. London-based architectural firm Pattern will assist Ramboll.

This was the second project management contract awarded for the 12-stadium tournament. AECOM also took home the first contract, appointed as the design consultant for Al Wakrah Stadium, which took heat for the final Zaha Hadid plan.

Qatar officials expect plenty more design announcements this year.

Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.
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