Desert flowers inspire protective canopies at Al Farjan Recreational Sports Facilities
Grimshaw has been selected to create a new range of community sports facilities across Qatar. Secured through a competition funded by the Qatar Olympic Committee, the Al Farjan Recreational Sports Facilities aim to create new enriched social spaces and encourage community participation in sporting activities.
The multipurpose sports facilities will be equipped with a variety of courts, pitches, outdoor children’s playgrounds, public amenities and social areas. These areas will serve as an informal space for young people, families and sports enthusiasts to develop healthy lifestyles in the local community.
Set against the desert dunes, the concept design offers the highest standard of amenities for sports including football, volleyball, basketball and handball, all within a welcoming environment. At the centre of the complex, an elevated café acts as a vibrant social hub surrounded by the various courts and pitches.
To mitigate the harsh desert climate, fabric canopies visually reminiscent of the desert flowers native to Qatar have been designed to provide shade and mark key routes to recreation and seating areas. Seating is nestled into the dune-scape to provide cozy places for families to socialise and watch sporting events.
The environmental strategy for the facility includes active additions, incorporating shading canopies, and passive programming, using the rolling topography and change in level across the site to create focused sight lines and funnel cooling breezes through the site. The design also employs a grey water recycling system to help irrigate the landscape.
Grimshaw Partner Keith Brewis said: “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. This project provides an opportunity for Qatar to encourage all its residents to lead healthy lifestyles."
Designed as a kit of parts and deployable in arrangements of various sizes, the bespoke components can easily be adapted for the construction of future recreational facilities throughout Qatar. By embedding the playgrounds into the landscape, they will become truly integrated within their place.