Back in 2018, fans said that the stadium resembled the female anatomy when the first photos of the venue's design were released

By Morgan M. Evans
May 03, 2019 11:37 AM

Qatar has officially unveiled new photos of the World Cup 2022 stadium that fans famously said looked like a particular female body part when the renderings of the almost-completed venue hit the internet back in 2018.

The Al Wakrah grand stadium — which can seat up to 40,000 World Cup fans — was designed by the late British-Iraqi architect, Dame Zaha Hadid, who died in 2016 of a sudden heart attack at the age of 65.

The venue was one of the last designs by the famed architect, who also designed the Aquatics Centre at the 2012 London Olympics, and was reportedly inspired by the shape of an old-fashioned, pearl diving dhow boat. The plans for the stadium design were first presented in 2013 and Hadid topped her unique structure with a roof design meant to mimic that of the boat’s sails.

Aecom, the American engineering company that worked with Zaha Hadid Architects on the stadium construction and design, confirmed the architect’s vision and said, “Inspired by the dhow boat that carried generations of local fishermen and pearl divers, the stadium weaves together Qatar’s past with its progressive vision for the future.”

Credit: Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy
Credit: Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy via Getty
Credit: Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy via Getty

But when the first photos of the almost-completed stadium surfaced on the internet last year, fans didn’t quite see the image of boat sails, but that of a female body part.

People used Twitter to share their sentiments about the stadium’s design.

“I thought the Georgia O’Keeffe paintings were a nice touch,” wrote one user wrote in 2018, referencing the iconic artist who famously painted flowers that resembled the female anatomy.

Another said, “So Qatar is naming a stadium ‘The Vagina stadium,’ SMH.”

Despite the critiques over the venue’s design, the stadium is sure to become revolutionary with its new-wave air-conditioning technology that is said to help the fans and players beat the Qatar heat, lowering the temperature to a perfect 72 degrees.

In addition to the Al Wakar stadium, Qatar will produce a total of eight venues for the 32 World Cup teams competing in the international tournament. Khalifa International Stadium, an original Qatar venue that was built in 1976, was redeveloped and has also been unveiled for the World Cup matches.