HEART OF DOHAQatar 2008
Heart of Doha
Partner in Charge / Design Principal: Robin Lee
In April 2006 the Qatar Foundation commissioned Arup/EDAW/Allies & Morrison to create a masterplan for the Heart of Doha. The site, which covers approximately 35 hectares and incorporates the entire Mohammed Bin Jassim district, is situated immediately to the South of the Amiri Diwan (royal palace). The primary aim was to create a new lively, diverse and dense urban quarter with 760,000 sqm of residential, retail, commercial, hotel, community and cultural uses set in a new public realm. The objective was to regenerate the historic core of Doha and act as a stimulus for future wider city regeneration.
The practice was brought into the shortlisted team by John McAslan & Partners to develop proposals for the northern character area of the masterplan, Al Karahba North. This area was designated as a residential district composed of luxury townhouses based on traditional Qatari dwellings and a series of apartment blocks with retail bases fronting onto the main civic space Ukaz Square. Led by Robin Lee the team developed a series of townhouse typologies carefully working with traditional patterns yet incorporating a contemporary design approach and new construction technologies. A key consideration was the development of an appropriate language and expression for the new buildings to respond to both local and western communities. The resultant typologies consisted of robust yet refined stone exteriors with open central courtyards faced with filigree facade treatments using deep set stone mullions for shading and privacy.
The scale of the apartment blocks were modulated by the introduction of deep incisions into the block mass to create a series of tower forms. This strategy successfully created a scaled streetscape with areas of substantial shading. Narrow streets were counterpointed with a series of generous public squares around which social functions were gathered. The landscape strategy included open rills to create cool environments and small groves of orange trees.
© Robin Lee Architecture 2012
NORD LLP reached the final shortlist in the international design competition for Heart of Doha in May 2008
NORD LLP was established in 2002
NORD LLP renamed to Robin Lee Architecture in 2011