lebanon and abu dhabi-based practice MZ Architects were approached to design ‘the rock stadium’, a sports facility at the heart of al ain in the UAE. the designers worked with the site in order to achieve a visionary design that merges architecture and landscape, blurring the boundaries of the built and the natural to create a space that allows the visitor to interact with the desert alongside athletic activities. sunken into the cooler depth of the desert sand, the exterior presents itself to the visitor as a series of sharply inclined planes emerging from the ground. in addition to the volcanic mountain backdrop in front of which they lay, define the space of the seating and its related activities, allowing for the conglomeration of a large number of visitors amidst a vast landscape.
taking cues from ancient examples of amphitheatres and temples, the project refers to the first greek amphitheatre that worked with the topography, taking it a step further by sculpting the terrain, refining its elements and playing with the mass and void relationship. a grand entrance into the underground creates a monumental approach similar to the imposing entrance of the temple of anahita.
Footy love, nikhak