As an exemplar for Kinetic Architecture, SCX Special Projects, working with Fabric Architecture, designed and manufactured a retractable roofing system for the Qatar FIFA Fan Zone constructed in Doha to screen the 2014 World Cup Brazil Tournament.
With a seating capacity of up to 2,000 and temperatures outside reaching a high 45°C, the mobile Fan Zone required cooling technology to ensure spectator conditions were comfortable – thus the solution of a retractable roofing system with integrated climate control was born and is now set to become a prototype project for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
In addition to environmental challenges, the Fan Zone’s roofing system required an open-air design which needed to be manufactured off-site and then transported to Qatar for reassembly in mid-May.
Mark Gill, Electrical Design Engineer at SCX Special Projects said, “Because the interface system had to be built in the UK and then shipped to Qatar, we needed to create roofing technology that could be completely portable, and that could be deconstructed and rebuilt anywhere else in the world.”
SCX Special Projects’ EC&I Department developed an electrical mechanism that could be easily re-erected by non-qualified electricians.
“The entire process took around eight weeks from start to finish – with time spent designing, building, testing, constructing, dismantling and then shipping off to Qatar,” said Gill.
Five SCX Special Projects team members (three mechanical and two electrical) manufactured a plug-and-play-type power and control system to operate the 12 metre long specially-designed tracks which hold 8 fabric canopies, forming the roof framework. Individually numbered plugs and sockets with coding pins enable fool-proof reassembly of all the cables and motors controlling the roof.
“There are 32 continuous belts housed inside the tracks and folds of fabric which hang from 224 trolleys suspended from these belts are drawn out one by one as the roof closes. This allows each canopy to either be retracted independently or in tandem and can create either full or partial coverage of the area” said Gill.
As a result of the retractable roofing system, working in conjunction with the air conditioning and cooling towers, the Fan Zone’s interior dropped 19 degrees below outside temperatures – even when the roof was completely open.
“At SCX we have been paving the way with groundbreaking roofing technology ever since our design and creation of the mobile Wimbledon roof in 2009. We have been involved in a number of other Kinetic Architectural projects and our experience with cranes, rails, and tracks, coupled with our automation capabilities means that we can create bespoke mobile structures to suit even the most elaborate of projects. We feel very proud and privileged to have been part of a project that is not only set to become an exemplar for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, but could also revolutionise open air stadiums around the world,” according to Gill.