Qatar Foundation Headquarters
OMA Architects / Rem Koolhaas
The Qatar Foundation is a charity whose stated goal is human, social and economic development of the Arab country, through scientific research. The new headquarters of the Foundation located at the Education City campus includes two buildings: a 57-metre-high office headquarters and a three-storey study centre. The headquarters building comprises a large cube with a facade of precast white concrete. This is punctured on all four sides by a grid of small windows, creating a pixellated image of the Qatar Foundation's logo – a Sidra tree, which grows wild across the country, so has become a popular national symbol. Inside, the building provides 29,000 square metres of office space. This is divided up into three areas: the Executive Tower, the Staff Tower, and Her Highness's wing, named in honour of the foundation's co-founder Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned. These are all accessed via a grand central atrium. This space is naturally illuminated through a concrete and glass roof that matches the exterior walls, and is dominated by glass and aluminium. Glass bridges traverse the atrium's upper levels, while mezzanine balconies offer views between storeys. The building also includes a large sheltered terrace, which surrounds a series of amenity spaces on the seventh floor. The three-storey Strategy Study Center stands adjacent to the headquarters building. Built from a mix of regular and white concrete, this top-heavy building provides office and conference facilities. The project was overseen by OMA partner Iyad Alsaka, who heads up OMA's Dubai office. Much of the design was developed by Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi, who worked at OMA for over a decade before leaving to set up his own office, NLÉ.
[text by Amy Frearson, dozen.com]
[the project was under construction during my visit in 2013]
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