Les Grands Paysages | Doha

Doha - Desert Landscape

The skyline at the edge of the sea and the desert are two of the most striking features of Doha and its environs.  In the last few decades Qatar’s capital city has changed dramatically due to development along the Persian Gulf.  The city is slowly merging with various other settlements along the coastline to form a large and sprawling conglomerate. The city's coastal arc, the Corniche, is a collective reference point that links both new and old parts of the city.  A new urban area has been created along the coastline, stretching between the old city, the new Museum of Islamic Art designed by I.  M.  Pei, and the international airport to the south and the new skyline on the northern tip of the Corniche.  This new area has extraordinary demands with regard to the design of open space.

An international competition involving five teams was organized in order to develop approaches to the urban, architectural, and open space development of the Corniche.  Within this context we consciously focused on the relationship between regional traditions in the modern era.  Which design measures could be considered in view of Doha’s climatic and social conditions and which of them could make a contribution to the economic, ecological, and social development of the city? The modern development and interpretation of oases as an old garden typology within desert regions would make use of cultural techniques which are proven in this climate and which also convey regional identity.  And for us therefore, oasis culture serves as the foundation for landscape development in a modern coastal city in the desert.