Tangram's Qatar World Cup Stadium Sculpts the Desert Wind to Provide Passive Cooling

The new FIFA stadium for the Qatar 2022 World Cup will “sculpt” the desert region’s winds and combine them with nearby water sources to provide passive-evaporative cooling for the entire structure. The system will use no electricity, and it will also function as a central cooling facility for the neighboring community when it’s not being used as a sports venue. Recently unveiled by architecture firm Tangram Gulf.

The 80,000-seat stadium features traditional Badgheer openings which enable the capture and manipulation of the wind. These are created in the outer layer of the stadium and positioned to allow the effective harnessing of hot winds to create air currents across the structure. In order to stop the hot air from pushing out the cool air the designers developed a “skin” of punctured panels. The skin was designed by combining the Fibonacci logarithms and the cooling mechanisms used by the desert lizards in the Western Region Desert—the lizards move their scales to direct wind over their bodies to accelerate cooling. The punctured louvers allow the wind to be directed away from the open top of the stadium in a similar way as simple fluid mechanics help push sailing winds forward on modern yachts. The colonnade helps to create cooling through both thermal mass and the Venturi effect which accelerates air pressure across colonnade structures.

To help direct winds across the stadium at the correct velocity for the cooling to take place, the designers introduced the Qanat-traditional water management system. It is positioned beneath the terraces of the stadium in the form of storage tanks which provide a constant supply of cooled water to the stadium’s “lake”. It cools the air through evaporation which is then guided by the hollow prefab concrete structure through the building. Energy models show the passive cooling system deployed in the stadium can currently deliver between 27 and 30 degrees temperatures, but is projected to become even lower than the WBT(Wet Bulb Temperature of between 26-29 degrees) required by FIFA.