Zaha Hadid dismisses "ridiculous" claims
that Qatar stadium resembles a vagina

| 83 comments
 

News: architect Zaha Hadid has hit back at critics who have compared the design of her Al Wakrah stadium in Qatar to a vagina, describing the comments as "embarrassing" and "ridiculous".

Speaking to TIME magazine, Hadid said: “It’s really embarrassing that they come up with nonsense like this. What are they saying? Everything with a hole in it is a vagina? That’s ridiculous.”

She suggested that the comments would not have been made had the architect been male:  “Honestly, if a guy had done this project…"

Earlier this week Zaha Hadid Architects unveiled the design for the stadium, which is one of several new structures that will be built to host soccer matches during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Al Wakrah stadium by Zaha Hadid Architects looks like a vagina

Critics immediately compared the 40,000-seater stadium, which its architects claim is based on the curving lines of an Arab dhow fishing boat, to female genitalia.

"I'm no expert, but I think those are labia," Cosmopolitan.com's sex and relationships editor Anna Breslaw told Equire.com.

"Any discerning human will be quick to recognize that the building looks exactly like an enormous vagina," wrote women's website Jezebel.com.

Comments from Dezeen readers included "One vagina in a sea of penis towers" and "It looks like a baboon's bum".

The Al Wakrah stadium has been co-designed by AECOM and features a flowing roof designed to protect spectators from the worst of Qatar's extreme heat.

"With its shiny, pinkish tinge, its labia-like side appendages and its large opening in the middle, the supposedly innocent building ("based upon the design of a traditional Qatari dhow boat") was just asking for trouble," wrote The Guardian's Holly Baxter on the ensuing furore.

It is unusual for an architectural structure to be compared to a vagina; comparisons with the male organ are far more common.

A manipulated image of Foster + Partners' Gherkin skyscraper was used to advertise erectile dysfunction treatment
A manipulated image of Foster + Partners' Gherkin skyscraper was used to advertise erectile dysfunction treatment

A flaccid image of Foster + Partner's Gherkin skyscraper was recently used to advertise a treatment for erectile dysfunction.

The new headquarters for Chinese newspaper People's Daily has been compared to a giant penis
The new headquarters for Chinese newspaper People's Daily has been compared to a giant penis

A building nearing completion in China has been compared to a "giant penis" while comparisons have been made between a Jean Nouvel tower in Doha - also in Qatar - and a dildo.

Jean Nouvel's Doha tower has been compared to a dildo
Jean Nouvel's Doha tower has been compared to a dildo

See five more buildings with unfortunate likenesses.

  • Fed Fef

    Why are there so many people around the stadium in the visual? They look like zombies.

  • F

    In a state of some arousal too I’d say.

  • Wajeeh Ur Rehman

    Below the belt comments on architectural projects is uncivilised.

  • name

    Is there vagina fan club? Please somebody leave information so I can join.

  • Vic Stapel

    Why do people always have to decipher creativity and add the worst comparisons? There are fibers, water, leaves, sand dunes that could come to mind, but NO, people always go below the belt first. Very sad, simplistic and rather low IQ.

    Her work is stunning and these haters just wish it was “their” Design chosen. And at the end, if they like to persist on the ridiculous idea, well the architect is a woman and it’s a “man’s world” out there, so be it. Let it remain a vagina in their mind as this one is Amazon-like, supremely covering, ruling and hopefully winning.

  • Kbizz

    I think this structure is great. It’s an organic, well designed shape. I particularly like the roof detail at the lower level entry gates. My only worry is whether or not the centre bracing will create an unwanted shadow on the playing field? As far as vagina jokes go, I think you’ll find a whole lot of things in this world look like genitalia.

    It’s just that this one is on such a large scale and by a very well known architect, it’s copping all the attention. Everyone needs to calm down and look at it from another perspective.

  • tizoh

    I think Zaha’s designs are out of this world. If the stadium looks like a vagina it’s a very beautiful vagina. I wouldn’t mind being that stadium and I believe all men who will go there to watch soccer will be pretty excited.

  • disqus_K4k8dwayJT

    Qatar has a woman architect? If you’re Qatari, offended and about to comment, it’s not exactly a model of women’s freedom.