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Posted On: 23 July 2009 09:34 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Heart of Doha project work all set to begin

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DOHALAND has awarded contracts to leading industry experts as the company is all set to begin work on the first phase of its ambitious Heart of Doha project. Heart of Doha is DOHALAND’s signature project that seeks to recreate the historically important centre of Doha and revive the Qatari architectural language of the past, in the modern context, with today’s technologies. The project is being developed in a 35-hectare site in the Mohammed bin Jassim District located in inner Doha, close to where Qatar’s capital city began, over five phases ending in 2016. “The project’s development has now extended beyond master planning and into realisation. This realisation will be delivered in five phases governed by a core team of industry experts,” the company said yesterday. Turner, in a joint venture with DOHALAND, is providing project and construction management services. DTZ (financial feasibility), Rider Levett Bucknall (cost consultancy), ARUP/EDAW/Allies and Morrison (design regulation and site planning approval), ARUP (infrastructure), and Urbis (retail) are also involved in the project. Phase 1A, a cluster of three civic buildings, is being designed by Allies and Morrison (design architect), Burns McDonnell (executive architect) and Gillespies (landscape architect). Another major step to realisation of the project was the award, in mid 2009, to Bauer International Qatar of the first construction contract. The Heart of Doha project team launched an international competition in early 2008 to select the best architects to design distinguished, world-class buildings for the project’s second phase, Phase 1B. The challenge was to find those best able to interpret, in modern language, Doha’s architectural and planning vernacular to most effectively and creatively bridge the gap between the modern day city and the Doha of the past. DOHALAND has selected five major international design architectural firms: Allies and Morrison Architects, Mossesian and Partners, Dar Al Omran, Adjaye Associates and John McAslam and Partners. The recent appointment of Aedas as Phase 1B’s executive architect reinforces DOHALAND’s commitment to delivering the highest standard of built form, the company said in a statement yesterday. While creating the master plan, the project team drew on inspirations from Vision 2030, which formed the basis of the “Twelve Perspectives” for the development of the Heart of Doha. The 12 perspectives are history, continuity, culture, heritage, urban planning and landscaping, challenging architecture, water, environment and sustainability, citizenship and community, commerce and business, implementation and the future. The master plan was debated by a panel of prominent professors with expertise in urban planning and knowledge of the history of the Gulf region. The panel comprised professors from Princeton University, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Yale University, representatives of the Aga Khan Professoriate of Islamic Architecture, and MIT. In addition, four firms of distinguished architects were invited to test the conceptual master plan: Allies and Morrison, Porphyrios Associates, Mario Cucinella Architects, and Taller de Ideas. The master plan was developed over a three-year period by internationally recognised consultants including ARUP/EDAW and Allies and Morrison. This started with a process through which the answers for regenerating the Heart of Doha were discovered. The project’s final master phase was concluded in the summer of 2008. The primary consideration of Heart of Doha is to build places that are compatible with Qatar’s unique environment and culture. Seven principles will lead to the formation of Qatar’s new architectural language: Timelessness; balance between diversity and unity; the relationship between space and form; aspects of the home; aspects of the streets; designing for climate; and elements of architecture. “The responsible approach to green building involves listening and responding to your environment and respecting it. The starting point for our research was the vision of H H Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned to look at the gap in Qatar’s architectural history and fill this gap with sustainable development comprised of the best techniques from our ancestors in their modern context. The sustainable model that we have developed for the Heart of Doha involves working with the environment and living as a part of it. DOHALAND has spent over three years collaborating and researching with world-class institutions such as MIT and Harvard, in order to develop the best model for us,” said Engineer Issa M Al Mohannadi, CEO of DOHALAND.