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    Grimshaw designs recreational sport facilities with deployable bespoke elements for Qatar

    Geraldine Chua

    International practice Grimshaw has been selected to create a new range of community sports facilities across Qatar with a unique ‘kit of parts’ design concept.

    Featuring bespoke elements, the components of the 37,514sqm Al Farjan Recreational Sports Facilities will be deployable in arrangements of various sizes, and easily adapted for the construction of future recreational facilities throughout Qatar.

    This strategy allows the sport centres to suit the distinct requirements of different sites, and be embedded into the landscape.

    The concept design is set against the desert dunes, and includes public and social spaces that facilitate interaction and engagement while promoting healthy lifestyles. The multipurpose sports facilities will be equipped with a variety of sport amenities, including football, volleyball, basketball and handball courts and pitches.

    Acting as a vibrant social hub, an elevated café will sit at the centre of the complex. Subtle topography allows for changing views as one navigates the site, integrating the park and sporting elements into the undulating landscape without encroaching on the space required for regulation playing fields.

    To mitigate the harsh desert climate, fabric canopies visually reminiscent of native desert flowers will radiate outwards to provide cover and shade. They also work to mark key routes to the recreational and seating areas, with seating nestled into the dune-scape, a place for families to socialise and spectate.

    Apart from the shading canopies, the environmental strategy for the facility includes active additions and passive programming, whereby the rolling topography and change in levels across the site will be used to create focused sight lines and funnel cooling breezes through the site. In addition, a grey water recycling system will help irrigate the landscape.

    Secured through a competition funded by the Qatar Olympic Committee, Grimshaw’s design aims to transcend mere social functions such as encouraging community participation; it also seeks to promote sports awareness and variation to sporting enthusiasts, as well as families and young people.

    “We are delighted to know our design will create highly accessible informal public space that enriches social activities while also developing athletic talent within the local community,” said Grimshaw Partner, Keith Brewis.

    “This project provides an opportunity for Qatar to encourage all its residents to lead healthy lifestyles.”

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