Perkins+Will set out to create a stadium unlike any built before, but one that ties back into its context through a regionally-inspired aesthetic. To give the structure a minimal footprint and to create a shaded entry plaza below, the playing field has been raised 60 feet (18m) above ground level. A diagrid seating bowl rises from that level, supported by a polar array of v-shaped columns. The entire structure is then wrapped in a permeable skin that allows for airflow while simultaneously blocking out undesired sand and sun.
Water features beneath the stadium create a natural thermal sink, cooling the incoming air as it is pulled into the stadium, while the public plaza utilises shade trees and vegetation to block the hot sun and mitigate hot winds.
The playing field at Mohammed bin Rashid Stadium is designed to be FIFA-compliant, with additional FIFA-approved fields surrounding the stadium for practice and recreation. The project is part of Dubai’s “Sports Innovation Lab” initiative, a government-backed program aimed at increasing the country’s profile as an international sports destination.
As design lead on the project, Perkins+Will will be responsible for architecture, interior design, urban planning and landscape architecture roles. The project is currently in the planning and design phase.