Keeping Pace With Evolving Stadium Designs and Cooling Innovations in the Middle East

Oct 26, 2010, 10:00 ET from IQPC Middle East

DUBAI, UAE, October 26, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- With the Middle East currently being positioned on the precipice of potentially making sporting history with Qatar's 2022 World Cup Bid, there are key challenges in achieving these hopes which cannot be evaded.

In a recent interview, Mark Fenwick, Senior Partner of RFA Fenwick Iribarren Architects, a key designer of the Qatar Foundation's Stadium and Sports Complex, commented on the major challenges in designing and developing such venues for this region. 'Certainly the most important challenge for stadium design in the Middle East has to do with the need to cool the interior environment to an acceptable level, especially in the summer months,'he said.

'The problem of providing a comfortable environment for the spectators in very warm countries is very similar to that which inversely effect countries in the far north where the temperature is extremely cold.

No one questions the need for heating in a modern stadium in Norway or Sweden however there seems to be a certain reticence for stadiums to be cooled, especially in an economical and sustainable manner. One of the most exciting challenges in modern stadiums in the Middle East, is to develop a design which allows cooling for the players and the spectators, and to resolve a responsible energy source, such as solar power.

There are a number of solutions on the table, and Qatar presented this in a convincing manner to the FIFA Bid Committee recently where they unveiled ground breaking technology to resolve the cooling problem.'

We then asked Mark what his thoughts were on the rapid evolution of stadiums and if he thought these modern expectations were achievable. He agreed, 'Stadiums have changed drastically in the past twenty years, but mainly in terms of the back of house facilities that are provided in the venue, while the basic stadium bowl design has moved on very little from the days of the Roman Coliseum. The viewing angles and spectator safety and comfort in the seating have advanced considerably and stadiums are now becoming key destinations in cities and their activities cover many different commercial aspects.

Architecture has also become a major element in stadium design and more and more care is being made on exciting iconic designs with these large venues having the potential to become landmark features of a city and thus the architecture of these can impact the feel of the city in which they are placed.'

It would seem that these prolific buildings are no longer just a space big enough to hold a sporting event but have taken on a new dimension as a symbolic representation of a culture and an opportunity to showcase groundbreaking, iconic innovations.

Mark will be highlighting 'Identifying symbolism in the new architecture of stadium design', at IQPC's upcoming Stadium and Venue Design and Development MENA with an exclusive presentation.

This event will focus on case studies on innovative designs, consider the challenges in guaranteeing sustainability and maintainability of venues and will present industry insider techniques on ensuring the legacy of developments through multi-functionality. It takes place in Doha, Qatar from the 7 to 10 November 2010.

To read more of Mark's comments, they are available at

About IQPC: IQPC provides business executives around the world with tailored practical conferences, large scale events, topical seminars and in-house training programmes, keeping them up-to-date with industry trends, technological developments and the regulatory landscape. IQPC produces more than 1,700 events annually around the world, and continues to grow. Founded in 1973, IQPC now has offices in major cities across six continents including: Bengaluru, Berlin, Dubai, London, New York, Sao Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, and Toronto. IQPC leverages a global research base of best practices to produce an unrivalled portfolio of conferences.

    For more information, please contact
    Eileen Grace Espelita
    Marketing Manager
    IQPC Middle East