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Populous to help design world’s biggest football stadium

Populous and Qualalou + Choi have won the contract to design the world’s biggest football stadium in Morocco ahead of the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

Morocco’s National Agency for Public Facilities (ANEP) selected the consortium led by the two architectural groups to create a 115,000-capacity arena called the ‘Grand Stade de Casablanca stadium.’

Populous and Qualalou + Choi to design world's biggest football stadium

ANEP set up an international design competition, which the likes of Herzog & De Meuron, Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster + Partners, Cruz y Ortiz, GMP Architects, and HPP Architects participated in. However, Populous and Qualalou + Choi were given the thumbs up ahead of all these other groups.

Morocco are the joint co-hosts for the World Cup in 2030. As part of their hosting responsibilities, Morocco has to build an entirely new stadium and upgrade six other arenas.

‘Embodiment of the great tradition of Moroccan hospitality’ – Winning design outlined

Populous and Qualalou + Choi said that their winning stadium design looks to embody traditional Moroccan culture while also maintaining a modern stadium feel.

Tarik Oualalou, design principal and founding partner at Oualalou + Choi and lead architect for the project, said: “The Grand Stade de Casablanca is deeply rooted in Moroccan culture, with its traditions and contemporary expressions. It is rooted in ancient and primordial figures: the Moussem, the tent, and the garden, as well as the topography and landscapes of Morocco.”

He added that the stadium will be “the embodiment of the great tradition of Moroccan hospitality.”

No images of the stadium design have been released yet, but it has been confirmed that engineering businesses Maffeis Engineering, ME Engineering, Rider Levett Bucknall, Momentum, and SEPSI will join the Populous and Qualalou + Choi team to build the world's biggest football stadium.


Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

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