Al Ain stadium, UAE

Perhaps inspired by Souto de Moura's rock carved stadium in Braga, this desert stadium in Al Ain was designed by MZ Architects. In addition to being dramatically sculpted into the site’s volcanic rock, the pitch is sunken into the sand, providing a cooler condition for players and fans. Inspired by ancient architecture, the project recalls Greek stadia that worked with the landscape. The stadium is illuminated at night to allow evening games and provide a dramatic experience in the desert.

Al Ain Rock Stadium wins LEAF Award

The Rock Stadium in Al Ain by MZ Architects was crowned ‘Best Future Building’ in the 9th edition of the Emirates Glass LEAF Awards.

Marwan Zgheib, founder and principal received the award on September 21st at a ceremony in London’s Four Seasons Hotel.

The LEAF Awards, operated by the Leading European Architects Forum, is an annual international architectural prize.

Rock Stadium is set into the desert landscape, and sinks its 200,000m2 structure into the ground, turning the rocky mountain into one of its main features.

It creatively works with the topography and relies on a series of emerging planes to mold the space and help cater for the 40,000 seats which it provides.