A week films the World Cup in Qatar to commemorate the death of migrant workers


Architectural Studio Week envisioned a 4.4km tall memorial to draw attention to the number of reported deaths associated with the construction of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Named after the Qatar World Cup memorial, the tower will be constructed from stacked concrete blocks, with each block representing one of the migrant workers who have reportedly died in Qatar since the country won the right to host the World Cup in 2010.

Monument to the death of World Cup workers
The World Cup Memorial Tower will rise 4.4 kilometers in diameter based on 2020 figures (far right)

The France and Chile-based Wake Studio designed the octagonal structure to draw attention to the well-documented human rights abuses that occurred in Qatar ahead of the tournament.

First conceptualized in 2014, the tower was designed to grow as more deaths were reported.

Monument to the deaths of Qatari workers
Each block represents one migrant worker who has reportedly died in Qatar over the past decade

“We chose to categorize the skyscraper because the dramatic, dramatic nature of the maximum height the project can reach allows it to reflect the scale of the human disaster and the ever-increasing number of victims,” ​​the studio told Dezeen.

“Moreover, because it is an ever-growing tower, there is no theoretical height limit, and no other project classification would have allowed it.”

Modular block erection
It will be built from modular concrete blocks

The memorial tower will be constructed of modular concrete blocks 2.5 meters high with four subjects on each layer to form an octagonal tower.

“We chose concrete because it is a moldable material which makes it possible to mass-produce the units,” said the studio. “On the other hand, the project is a monument, and concrete is a relatable material, its identity adapted to the theme we are dealing with here.”

The week was based on the final height of the tower based on the number of migrant worker deaths reported by The Guardian in 2021. The newspaper estimates that at least 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar between 2010 and 2020.

However, according to FIFA, there are 37 deaths linked to the construction of World Cup stadiums.

Memorial tower for the Qatar World Cup a week
The memorial is designed to draw attention to the number of deaths of migrant workers in Qatar

Using the Guardian numbers, the final hike for the monument for the week would be 4.4km.

“It’s disgraceful,” Week said. “We were surprised that the media did not mention this number of 6,751 dead,” he added.

She continued, “The amazing thing is that we originally envisioned a 1.5-kilometre tower, which already seemed excessive to us because our goal was to denounce.” “But the reality is beyond us.”

Memorial tower for the Qatar World Cup
Stairs will allow visitors to climb the tower

Qatar has been widely criticized for its human rights record and the conditions experienced by migrant workers ahead of this year’s World Cup, which began earlier this week. The tournament is being hosted at eight stadiums built or renovated for the event designed by architecture studios Foster + Partners, Fenwick-Iribarren Architects, Zaha Hadid Architects, Aecom, Dar Al-Handasah, Ibrahim M Jaidah, Ramboll and Pattern Design.

These stadiums were built largely by migrant workers, whose conditions have been the focus of much criticism. In 2016, Amnesty International accused Qatar of using forced labor at World Cup sites, and the organization recently reported that abuse continues to occur “on a large scale” in Qatar.

Speaking to Design, Amnesty International’s Peter Frankenthal said stadium architects must speak out on human rights issues or risk being part of an attempted sportswashing.

Week agreed with this sentiment.

“We believe the architect’s responsibility to the working conditions of the people building his project is important,” the studio said.

“Construction is an essential part of the architectural project process and it is the architects’ responsibility to ensure the well-being of all actors necessary to carry out the development of the project. But we do not know the real context or role of architects in such a country during the construction phase.”

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