Cliff-hanging stadium planned for Saudi Arabia's Qiddiya giga-project
Following the unveiling of its esports arena in Saudi Arabia's gigantic Qiddiya development, Populous has revealed plans for a high-tech stadium for the giga-project too. The stadium will be situated on the edge of a cliffside and will feature a flexible design that incorporates a large LED display.
Officially named the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Stadium, the project will be situated on the top of a mountain at 200 m (656 ft) above the ground, at around 40 minutes from the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.
It will have a total capacity of 45,000 seats and will host soccer, boxing, esports, concerts and theater performances. It will also serve as the home ground of Saudi Pro League soccer clubs Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr and is one of the proposed venues for the country's 2034 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament bid. The LED wall will be a major focus, allowing for the display of live events.
"It is set to be the world's first fully integrated venue with a combined retractable roof, pitch and LED wall – an architectural innovation offering unparalleled versatility and allowing the space to transform into different 'event modes' in a matter of hours," explained Populous. "This LED wall will be a portal to live event broadcasts, high-definition films and laser shows, offering guests a novel, immersive experience with each visit. When not activated, it will open to reveal breathtaking views of Qiddiya City."
Obviously, holding concerts, soccer matches and other events in a Saudi Arabian desert area poses serious challenges with regard to spectator comfort. With this in mind, Populous aims to install an artificial lake directly under the stadium. This lake will use captured rainwater to help cool the area using an as-yet-unspecified air-conditioning system.
We've no word yet on when the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Stadium is expected to be completed, but it represents just the latest example of ambitious architecture planned for Saudi Arabia at the moment, with a 170-km-long skyscraper and a cuboid skyscraper among the most notable.