A Place to Dwell at the Fireejs of Musheireb

Published March 3rd, 2010 - 02:07 GMT

Doha, March 03, 2010

DOHALAND’s stand at Q-REX 2010 will bring people closer to the structure and neighborhoods of the future Doha. With a clear focus on communities and people, the Fireejs of Musheireb at the heart of Doha will truly be a place to dwell.

DOHALAND is the Official Sponsor of the 5th Qatar International Real Estate and Investment Exhibition Q-REX 2010 held at the Doha Exhibition Center from 3-6 March.

“We have worked very hard to ensure we partner with the very best companies to join us in this very unique project, and are delighted to have been able to do so. We want to make sure Musheireb is everything we dreamt it would be and more. QREX always comes at an opportune time for us. People got a chance to see Musheireb - Heart of Doha project master plan last year, and this year shall get a preview of the details of Phase 1-A and 1-B at the QREX DOHALAND stand,” said Imad Nached, Director- Marketing, DOHALAND.

The Musheireb project will be completed in five phases, with Phase 1 due for completion by 2012, and the entire project to be completed by 2016. Phase 1-A covers the construction of the Diwan Amiri Quarter, which includes Diwan Annex, Amiri Guard and the National Archive, and a heritage quarter that includes the Eid Prayer Ground and four heritage houses.

Phase 1–A infrastructure covers the construction of a central cooling plant, utilities and waste provision, and basement service roads. Phase 1-B covers the construction of a multi-use Cultural Forum, central luxury hotel and serviced apartments, offices, a shopping street, townhouses, a primary school and a mosque. Phases 2 will include a retail mall, hotels, office apartments and shops; and will reinforce the connection to Souk Waqif.

The project’s development, now moving beyond master planning and into project realization stage, will be led by a core team of industry experts. Time Qatar, a joint venture between Turner and DOHALAND, provides project and construction management services; Rider Levett Bucknall is the executive cost consultant. ARUP, AECOM, and Allies and Morrison will handle master plan design regulations and site planning approvals. ARUP will also be in charge of infrastructure, while Urbis will provide retail expert advice. As part of Phase 1A, the cluster of three civic buildings was designed by Allies and Morrison (Design Architect) and Burns McDonnell (Executive Architect). The Phase 1-A first construction contract for enabling works was awarded to Bauer International Qatar LLC in 2009.

DOHALAND also selected four major international design architectural firms: Allies and Morrison Architects, Mossesian and Partners, Adjaye Associates, and John McAslan & Partners. In the last quarter of 2009, Aedas was appointed as Phase 1B’s executive architect.

The DOHALAND stand at the exhibition will highlight the theme ‘A Place to Dwell’ showcasing how the neighborhood of the company’s QR20 billion project Musheireb was designed to bring people together and revive the social traditions of the old city. DOHALAND will also hold a symposium on March 4th, 2010, ‘Musheireb Symposium 2010 – Seven Steps to a New Architectural Language’ on the development of the architectural principles applied in the project to date during the exhibition. Five of the architects involved in the project will be talking about their perspectives and involvement in Musheireb through the symposium to be held on DOHALAND’s Knowledge Enrichment Centre on the Corniche.

“Musheireb is designed to be a place where people will feel connected. Today’s high-rises, congested streets, and inhomogeneous architecture have adversely affected the quality of city life, and lack the sense of connectedness, sense of community found in the Doha of former years. Our Chairperson Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned always maintained that we need to return the city to the people,” said Mr. John Rose, Director -Development, DOHALAND.

With more than 100 exhibitors and 25,000 visitors expected to attend Q-REX 2010, DOHALAND intends to display its past-inspired futuristic vision of urban development in full force and showcase how it aims to achieve that objective.

“When we looked at the old neighborhoods of Qatar, and this is true across the Gulf region, we were inspired by the fundamental importance of community in architectural design. These Fireejs, or neighborhoods, encompassed the culture, traditions, and values of a unified society and expressed in their very design, ideas like extended families, kinship ties, societal activism, local economy, collective identity, and a high degree of environmental awareness. Skyscrapers and superhighways do not do that,” added Mr. Rose.

At Q-REX 2010, DOHALAND will detail the layout of these Fireejs within the Musheireb development. Part of its Phase 1B will comprise townhouses, apartments, communal gardens, and Majlises, with the traditional urban form and its principles of climatic design and community life reinterpreted for modern living.

Mr. Mohamed Masoud Al-Marri, Director-Project, DOHALAND, explains the design: “Every Fireej in Musheireb has up to six Townhouses, and each home has a private ‘sahan’, or courtyard. Clusters are focused around communal gardens and a ‘Majlis’ that serve as a meeting place for the private and public realms of life. Apartments will be specially designed to meet the needs of young Qatari families, ensuring them both privacy and accessibility to the community.”

Bringing these Fireejs together is a new urban square at the very heart of Musheireb. This will be the focal point of the city and a gathering place for its people.

“The West end of the square will be occupied by a luxury hotel, with a Cultural Forum at the East end. The North and South perimeter will be lined with office and residential buildings. There will be shops, restaurants, cafes… everything a city needs to serve and engage its inhabitants. This will be a place that encourages pedestrians to walk around, explore, and socialize, with shaded paths and truly wonderful visual experience. There will be a school and several mosques; all the foundations of a strong community will be present in Musheireb,” added Mr. Al-Marri.

The buildings and Fireejs of Musheireb will all be based on the new architectural language developed over the past three years by DOHALAND. These design principles, called the ‘Seven Steps’ will provide the framework for new developments to remain faithful to Qatar’s architectural heritage and aesthetic identity. The new architectural language will also create sustainable, innovative communities that enrich people’s lives, promote environmentally responsible living, as well as rediscover the heritage and culture that makes Doha a unique city.

“In order to return Doha to the people, we realized that our architectural principles need to encompass a far greater scope of issues than what a traditional architect would. Some of the issues include local heritage and aesthetic values, climatic considerations, environmental issues and most importantly social considerations that place the interests of individuals and communities at the top of our priorities,” said Mr. Rose.

A CSR commitment, Knowledge Enrichment Centre was unveiled by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, in January 2010. The Knowledge Enrichment Centre is a new landmark moored off Doha Corniche that will initiate a knowledge-sharing culture among people in Qatar. It will be the venue to host workshops, seminars, conferences, exhibitions and other cultural and knowledge events, as well as gathering spaces including a Majlis (for distinguished guests), gallery, theatre, and an outdoor shaded terrace. It is the first structure to adopt DOHALAND’s new architectural language.

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