DOHA: Architects around the world were invited to submit designs inspired by the ‘gahfiya’ – a traditional headpiece worn by men across the Arab world – for a new stadium to be used during the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Qatari architect Ibrahim M. Jaidah recalls heading to the Old Souq – a traditional marketplace in Qatar – for inspiration prior to putting his ideas on paper.
“I remember that night, I got my hands on all types of gahfiyas in order to study the different patterns on each. I’ve always worn it as a child, however I didn’t expect to see all the different shapes and the depth of their designs,” said Ibrahim.
The creative process led to many sleepless nights.
Ibrahim continued: “I used to wake up in the middle of the night to examine the patterns on the different gahfiyas. I finally drew a rough sketch that I liked and told my engineers that this will be the design we are going with.”
One of Jaidah’s main goals was to produce a design that resonated with people across the entire region.
He said: “I had a feeling my competitors were going to take the original shape and completely modernise it; removing its traditional essence and making it look nothing like a gahfiya. I wanted to ensure my design was modern but at the same time, I didn’t want to strip it from its traditional identity. Preserving local identity and heritage was of paramount importance to me.”
Jaidah’s final design included streamlined patterns and golden coins. The coin design was later used as inspiration for the ventilation units for the stadium’s advanced cooling technology.
Jaidah added: “The shape of the gahfiya does not only serve a design purpose. In a similar way to how the gahfiya is used to cover one’s head from the heat, the shape is also used to protect the spectators
from the sun. The stadium’s interior also carries aspects of the pattern – which fans will see when they attend the final in October.”