Arup Associates, the architecture and engineering firm selected to build Qatar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Showcase, was recently nominated for World Architecture News’ 2012 Engineering Award. The 500-seat model stadium, a test bed for the sustainable architecture and design that Qatar promised for the World Cup 10 years from now, is the central showpiece for Qatar’s pledge to host this mega sporting event despite the skepticism that still confronts Qatar daily.

“The Showcase” has three major points: first, architecture that captures elements of traditional Arabian architecture and turns such passive design into modern and cutting-edge architecture. Next, solar promises to convert Qatar’s abundant sun into energy. Finally, air conditioning, also fueled by the sun, promises to cool players and spectators in a harsh environment that can reach 50C in the summer.

Having such an event like the World Cup in the Middle East sends a signal that the rest of the world is ready to engage this often misunderstood region. But the decision to hold the World Cup in Doha and its environs is also an opportunity to push the boundaries of sustainable design while maintaining environmental stewardship. Now it is up to Qataris to demonstrate that their hosting of the World Cup was a choice marked by forward thinking, not folly.

Photo courtesy Arup Associates.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009 his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). During 2013 and 2014, he lived and worked in Abu Dhabi, UAE, as an associate director with a leading public relations firm within Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.