After an honourable mention by the AIA Middle East award ceremonies in the category ‘Architecture – Unbuilt’ last year, the Sabah Al Salem Stadium in Kuwait has won the World Stadium Congress Award 2019 in the ‘Future Stadium Design of the Year’ category. The ceremony was held Tuesday 21 May in the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam.
The Stadium Consultancy is the specialist stadium consultant within the design team of Kuwait based architectural firm Pace, in order to prepare the design for a new stadium for Al-Arabi Sports Club. The new stadium project comes as part of an ambitious plan to almost double the stadium’s capacity to 30,000 covered seats and expand the facilities of the club to increase its ability to embrace other sports.
The Public Authority for Sports had commissioned Pace together with The Stadium Consultancy to undertake the redesign and construction supervision of Al-Arabi Sports Club’s centrepiece stadium. Project components also include a VIP area and corporate boxes and sports halls under the benches/bleachers.
The building above street level almost floats above the ground floor, clearly separating the activities taking place within it. The stadium is closed from all sides of the pitch. The modern design of the stadium’s facade incorporates a white continuous block unifying the wall and roof as one element. This element wraps around the tiers as tightly as possible and incorporates the symbol of the club.
The wheat leaves on the logo were chosen as the symbol for the new era in the life of the Al-Arabi Sports Club as they mean growth and prosperity. The pattern is more open at concourse level, as it is a more public area, hence allowing for light and ventilation into the bowl, while being more closed at the top (where the sports halls are) until it fades into the solid form of the curved roof. Despite constraints on a limited plot size, the design of the multipurpose stadium is internationally standardised to be FIFA and UEFA compliant, fully optimising the use of space.