As was the case with the Basrah Sport City project, the Ministry of Youth and Sport selected Anwar Soura and 360 ArchitecturebizWatch from an international pool of bids. The estimated construction cost of the Al-Menaa stadium is approximately $86 million USD. The Najaf stadium’s estimated construction cost is $83.75 million USD.
The concept for the Al-Menaa stadium reflects the culture and heritage of Basrah, which has a rich nautical tradition as Iraq’s port city.
“The progressive design suggests the city’s historic association with the water,” said designer Ryan Gedney of 360 Architecture. Gedney also noted that it was important for the Al-Menaa stadium to have its own distinct identity, apart from the character of sports city complex to the south of Basrah. While its exterior form stands out, a series of intimate and pedestrian-friendly park and public spaces tie the facility to the surrounding district.
In contrast, the Najaf stadium reflects its location in one of Iraq’s most significant cities. Its features include its square exterior and Islamic influenced latticework, which bear a complimentary resemblance to the sacred the Imam Ali Mosque in the heart of the city. Another important feature, given temperatures in the region, is its use of passive cooling towers – an economical and sustainable way to make the stadium’s concourse more comfortable.
“Though significantly different from each other, the two designs are based on the same philosophy of creating world-class facilities that uniquely fit their function and communities,” Heinlein said. “We believe this approach, combined with the fact that we’ve shown we can work effectively in Iraq, was convincing to the Ministry.”
The new Al-Menaa stadium is scheduled to be completed in October 2013. The Najaf stadium’s completion date is unspecified at this time.