How do the traditions and culture of Qatar inspire its architecture?

Qatar’s architecture incorporates geometric shapes, traditional designs, and the landscape of the country. The National Museum of Qatar, for example, looks like hundreds of interlocking discs that fit together to form a desert rose, a natural mineral structure formed in wet sand. It was designed by the architect Jean Nouvel who was inspired by the environment from which his creation emerges.

Other world-renowned architects have also designed iconic landmarks of the country, such as the Museum of Islamic Art of Fire IM Pei and the National Library of Qatar by Rem Koolhaas.

Professor of architecture and urban planning at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Ali Alraouf, says resources have shifted to building cultural facilities but still giving architects the freedom to create.

Learning through architecture

city ​​of education in Doha, a 12 square kilometer campus housing several teaching and research institutes, is not only a place of learning. It is also famous for its architecture.

The Principal Architect of the Qatar Foundation’s Investment Projects Directorate, Nur Alah Abdelzayed Valdeolmillos, said: “All the buildings inside the campus have principles and concepts that respect the environment and are inspired by of the culture.” Geometric patterns decorate the buildings, weaving traditional Islamic architecture and culture across the campus. The Qatar Foundation Ceremonial Courtyard, one of the Education City’s structures, is an open-air space created by award-winning Japanese artist Arata Isozaki.

Best Qatari Architect

Qatari architect Ibrahim Al Jaidah has designed some of the most iconic buildings in Doha and around the world.

But his most recent project is Al Thumama Stadium for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. He wanted to create something that reflected the culture of Qatar, so he based the stadium on the traditional men’s headgear called “ghafiya”.

Innovative stadium designs

The architectural design of the stadiums needed to be smart, flexible and with high desert temperatures, green cooling technology was a must.

Ras Abu Aboudis fully knock down, built with modified shipping containers.

The futuristic city of Qatar Lusail will have the biggest room in the tournament with traditional lantern and bowl designs.

Al Bayt Stadium resembles a traditional Arab tent, and the Al Janoub Stadium, inspired by the sails of a traditional dhow with its aerodynamic shape, was designed by the late Zaha Hadid.

Still others have been refurbished or have incorporated recycled materials.

Smart cities

Msheireb is the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project, a modern adaptation of Doha’s former commercial district. It is made up of more than 100 buildings – museums, hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, theaters and the Doha Design District.

There are over 5,000 solar panels on the roofs, specialized cooling technology and a battery-powered tram runs daily. The streets are designed to protect pedestrians from the sun.

Msheireb’s Shaikha Al Sulaiti thinks the city and its design district will position the country as a creative hub for the region: “Every element of the city has been designed. I’ve been working on this project for over a decade and still when I walking in the streets, I always find a new detail to admire.”

Details that distinguish Msheireb and, in doing so, contribute to the architectural language of the country.

Helen D. Jessen