The King Abdullah Sports City (KASC) project aspires to create inspirational, world-class sporting facilities for Saudi Arabia, a launchpad for a paradigm shift in participatory sport among Saudi citizens. The design is intended to imbue this international venue with a strong sense of its specific place and environment; a contemporary architecture that sustains the people and cultures around it. At the centre of the masterplan will be Kingdom’s first purpose-built, FIFA standard football venue. The 60,000 seat national stadium will be home to Jeddah’s two Premier League clubs, Al-Ittihad FC and Al-Ahli SC.
Structure and architecture are completely integrated. Running round the stadium is a ribbon of bracing and tie-down V-frames which express the structure and echo the mashrabiya screens of traditional Arabic and Islamic architecture and design.
Typically football matches in Saudi Arabia take place at nighttime. The diamond patterned screen mediates the breezes and provides shade, enabling the bowl to be naturally ventilated and still comfortable in the hot and humid Jeddah environment.
The integrated multi-disciplinary design team has carefully choreographed the total spectator experience from buying a ticket to taking a seat. Exemplary sightlines and as-close-as-possible proximity to the pitch in the parametrically sculpted bowl has created an elegant, curvaceous form, which has shaped the architecture of this ‘jewel in the desert’.
The main level 3 concourse is a unique and very dramatic triple-height space, with 360 degree views into the bowl. This fantastic space will be filled with the roar of the crowd.
Within the project are support functions to serve a major FIFA sporting venue. 5-star quality premium lounge, boxes and VVIP facilities, amenities for visiting top international athletes, and facilities to serve a demanding local and world press.
Also within the masterplan is a Mosque, a 10,000 seat indoor / outdoor multipurpose arena – the largest in the Kingdom – and a range of athletics facilities designed to international competition level.
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