Other than being the first Middle Eastern country to host the World Cup and its record-breaking $220 billion spending on the hosting, Qatar has recently made the headlines for its unique structures. This includes a transportable football stadium and a fan village – both made from shipping containers.
Stadium 974 is one of the eight venues of FIFA World Cup 2022 and the first fully dismountable World Cup stadium.
Made from 974 shipping containers and modular steel, Stadium 974 was designed as a tribute to Qatar’s history in worldwide trade and seafaring by Fenwick-Iribarren Architects. The containers have been converted into restrooms, waiting rooms, changing rooms, and food courts. It was also designed to allow natural wind to circulate in the stadium, eliminating the need for an air conditioning system.
The Stadium will host 40,000 fans and will be deconstructed after the tournament.
Titled a ‘big win for innovation and sustainability’ by the official Qatar 2022 page, the containers will be reused for a waterfront development for the local community and a dynamic hub for businesses. “This new concept in venue development ensures that while Stadium 974’s physical presence may be temporary, its legacy will be everlasting.”
Fan Village Cabins Rawdat Al Jahhaniya
Responding to the influx of supporters for the event, Qatar has also set up a large fan village with 6,000 cabins made from shipping containers.
Costing around $200 a night for two people, each cabin has tea and coffee making facilities, two bottles of water per day, a fridge, bed linen and bathroom towels. According to the FIFA site, the fan village features recreational facilities such as a cinema and a tennis court, along with a few food outlets.
Following a tour given to selected journalists earlier this month, AP revealed that 60% of the cabins were already booked two weeks ahead of the tournament. However, according to The Guardian, the site resembled a building site two days ago, with “abandoned forklift trucks and a digger next to the hundreds of sea containers.”
The Trend of Shipping Container Buildings
The concept isn’t new. Over the few years, reusing old shipping containers has become a worldwide architectural trend. Containers have been converted into a wide array of buildings, from houses and hotels to schools and libraries. It’s considered environment friendly, durable, and cost-effective.
There exists a brand of hotels, called Roatel, with rooms made from containers. Commenting on the Qatar container cabins, co-founder of Roatel told Trans.INFO that he was familiar with the units and that the $200 price per night is reasonable given the occasion. He also added that staying in these units in the summer won’t be very comfortable.
While these Qatar’s structures have raised both eyebrows and excitement, 1.2 million fans are expected to visit the Gulf country during the tournament, which kicks off today at the Al Bayt Stadium when Qatar takes on Ecuador in Group A.
In general, reusing shipping containers as buildings looks like a trend that’s here to stay.