Carved into a rocky ridge, the amphitheatre of The Rock Stadium by MZ Architects recalls Petra’s ruins
More Middle East than south and east, this proposal is for a stadium by Lebanese practice MZ Architects. It takes advantage of a desert ridge behind the UAE’s Al Ain to support the major stand in this stadium. The other sides read as plates folding out of the desert floor − and actually are the roofs of three secondary stands. So the vast ensemble characteristic of any big stadium is let almost unobtrusively into both the desert floor, less so into the slope of the local craggy ridge.
This is big geometry rendering a highly artificial activity almost innocent. The architects talk about the precedent of Greek auditoria and the way ancient monumental Egyptian structures are burrowed into the local environment. There is also something of Emilio Ambasz’s half-underground ’70s designs.
Like Bond villains’ lairs, or hidden missile silos, the pitch is hidden by plates lifting from the sand
These plates also provide vital shade from the relentless desert sun
WAF Preview Introduction
The fourth World Architecture Festival will take place 3-5 October 2012 in Singapore. For further information on the event, which features an extensive lecture programme, including a keynote address by Peter Buchanan, go to: www.worldarchitecturefestival.com
Read the WAF Preview Introduction
WAF Preview Case Studies
In association with: