Architects design 4.4km-high tower as memorial to Qatar World Cup migrant worker deaths

Week/Cover Images

Designers from Chilean and French Architecture studio Week have released concept designs for a 4.4-kilometre-high memorial drawing attention to the alleged number of deaths connected to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The Qatar World Cup Memorial tower would be constructed from concrete blocks, with each block representing one migrant worker's death since the country won the right to host the World Cup in 2010.

The memorial would be built with four blocks placed in each layer to form an octagonal tower. Week based the final height of the tower on the 6,500 migrant worker deaths The Guardian claimed were related to the construction of infrastructure and stadia in an article in 2021.

This number is contested as football governing body FIFA state there have only been 37 deaths connected to the construction of stadia. The final height of Week's memorial would be 4.4 kilometres.

Although named as FIFA's choice to host the tournament, Qatar has been widely criticised for its human rights record and the conditions experienced by migrant workers - who earn comparatively little, had their passports taken, and have no way to earn citizenship.

Qatar's strict laws against same-sex relationships have also come under the spotlight during the World Cup - with England, Wales, and five other European teams involved in a stand-off with FIFA over whether their captains can wear a 'One Love' armband in support of LGBTQ+ rights during the tournament.

In 2016, leaders at Amnesty International accused Qatar of using forced labour on World Cup sites and the organisation recently reported that abuses were still happening "on a significant scale" in Qatar.