Venue Design Innovation in Qatar

MEI exclusively provides an extract from ‘Innovation in Venue Design; What’s New in the Kitchen?’, a white paper written by Jon Coxeter-Smith, director, Sagacity MCS Limited.

These days, innovation is an integral part of our vocabulary. It’s a much used word – maybe if Legacy is the L-word, Innovation has become the I-word for our sector - and apparently everyone’s doing it. We have firms whose names shout it; centres and forums where we can talk about it and even government departments responsible for it! But does anyone know what it is? And why does it happen … and do we want it anyway, or should we identify with Coco Chanel when she said “Innovation! One cannot be forever innovating. I want to create classics”?

So what do we mean..?

Looking forwards to Qatar...

[When it comes to innovations in venue design] Qatar 2022 faces its own particular challenges demanding improvement and development of the state of the art.

One of those most discussed has been that around temperature and providing comfortable conditions for all participants including athletes, officials, media, operational personnel, security personnel, volunteers, FIFA family and spectators. There is much discussion on the stadia in this regard but the issue is all pervasive, affecting all participants 24 hours/day.

Much of the discussion around potential solutions has revolved around cooling technologies and it seems inevitable that advanced technologies will form part of the solution. But it is likely too that the solutions will be a composite of a number of factors including planning, orientation, planting, traditional build and technologies, operational scheduling and so on. Architects and Engineers particularly could do worse than study the history of design in the Arab world for there is much experience there in designing to counter hot conditions.

The size of Qatar and the compact hosting plan presents an opportunity to present an amazing FIFA World Cup experience for all participants but poses particular challenges too. The intensity of activity of the FIFA World Cup spread over a compact area creates several imperatives, including:

  1. Careful scheduling to spread activity as much as possible thereby avoiding concentration over particular peak times.
  2. Excellent information systems, route planning and way-finding provisions for all user groups. Further complexities are introduced here by the number of dimensions to be considered and that all ‘solutions’ must work together.
  3. Resilience of transportation systems; the spike in arrivals into the country and of the demands on local transport systems are equally issues here.

Securing the legacy; Qatar’s 2022 hosting concept is entirely complementary to the broader and longer term Qatar National Vision 2030. Indeed there is a very strong case to be made for the argument that the Qatar 2022 is being used to guide the progress of the development of Qatar en route towards QNV 2030. The Qatar 2022 effort must therefore keep in sight these longer term objectives and ensure that they are not diverted or blunted by the short term.

The furtherance of QNV 2030 will require a number of policy outcomes from Qatar 2022. Accomplishing these across such a large scale and wide ranging programme with multi-agency delivery represents a very considerable challenge. The solutions will come out of organisation design and creating the best governance model for the programme. In delivery, leadership and communication skills and the ability to achieve outcomes through the effective use of influence across the multiple agencies are likely to be highly prized.

The enormous scale of the programme presents huge challenges to achieve the levels productivity deliver the volume of outputs required in order to stay on schedule; and to go on doing that throughout the programme.

Sophisticated - but easily executable - planning will be necessary to ensure that capacity and capability in the supply chain is aligned with the requirements of the programme. Sourcing and distribution must be carefully planned to ensure that there are no critical shortages and that Qatar doesn’t sink under the weight of concrete trucks.

There is a vast human resource required during the construction phase; those resources must be found and then allowed to get to work on time every day. And when they get to work, materials and tools must be to hand to allow them to work productively.

And all of this must be accomplished with minimal effect on everyday life in the region. A business as usual condition must be maintained.

Securing hosting rights for Qatar 2022 post-dated the development of the QNV. Many plans and strategies, for example in the fields of transport and infrastructure, pre-date Qatar 2022. And while, as has been said already, there is a close and exact alignment between the requirements for 2022 and QNV 2030, Qatar 2022 is an overlay to the wider QNV master plan. It adds another layer of complexity and introduces new inter-relationships, sequences and priorities to be factored in to other programmes that were already underway.

Download the Full White Paper

Click here to download a full copy of this white paper.

To contact Jon Coxeter-Smith:

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Tel: +44 (0) 20 8339 0808

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