Qatar's X-Rated Stadium and the Dangers of Designing "Readable" Buildings

With the help of Buzzfeed, Zaha Hadid's design for Qatar's new Al-Wakrah sports stadium - which happens to bear a resemblance to "lady parts" - went viral this week. Philip Kennicott examines Qatar's "awkward moment".
D@LY3D / flickr

"The world’s design critics have noticed that plans for a new stadium in Qatar—built to host the 2022 World Cup—look a lot like what late night comedians call 'lady parts,'" writes Kennicott. "The undulating folds of the roof that covers the playing field, combined with an almond-shaped opening to the sky above, gives the stadium, designed by AECOM, in association with Zaha Hadid Architects, a uniquely voluptuous  profile."

"Architects who pursue 'iconic' sculptural shapes have created for themselves a dilemma: The public will ultimately be the interpreter of those shapes, no matter what the architectural intention is," he continues. "If you plan a building to be instantly 'readable,' like a sign, then you have to be very clear about what that sign says."

And for Kennicott, a sign that speaks to femininity amid Qatar's male-dominated society may not be such a bad thing.  

Full Story: World Cup Stadium designs for Qatar 2022 elicits titters

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