Sidra Medical Research Centre Staff Housing

Education City, Doha, Qatar

In 2008, AJ+C was invited by the Qatar Foundation to participate in an international competition to design a large scale residential development on a 20 hectare site for the staff of Sidra Medical Research Centre at Education City, Doha, Qatar.

AJ+C initiated the design and subsequently formed a joint venture with Arup and Woods Bagot to provide full service delivery for the project and all three parties contributed to the final scheme and presentation, along with input from other consultants.

The scheme, entitled the “Desert Canopy”, gained inspiration from the Qatar landscape, in particular, the table mountains of Dukhan Anticline and the shifting sand dunes. AJ+C also looked to the rich use of geometry in the buildings and decorative arts of the Islamic world.

The brief for the staff housing of the Sidra Medical Research Centre, called for a self-contained neighbourhood in close proximity to the Centre, consisting of over 2000 apartments and villas for doctors, nurses and administrative staff, with separate compounds for the three tiers of staff.

Central to each compound is the clubhouse or community hall with pool and outdoor entertainment area, all easily accessible from each dwelling to encourage socializing. In addition, there is a neighbourhood centre which comprises the general store, coffee shop/restaurant, mosque, day care centre, indoor sports centre and maintenance depot.

Another significant public space is the pedestrian colonnade that winds its way through the development along the main street, providing relief from the harsh Qatar climate. The main street meanders its way through the site ‘opening up’ at changes in direction and intersections in the course of which it unites the compounds.

The large landscaped roofs of the community buildings provide insulation and generous shade canopies for the spaces below, which are advantageous to the severe Qatar climate. These rooftops also provide garden views for the surrounding apartment buildings. Each swimming pool garden is an oasis set below street level to utilise the cooler temperatures and provide privacy for swimmers. The many parks are conceived as “sunken landscaped rooms”, again, partially set into the ground to provide cooler conditions.

Due to the current economic climate, the Qatar Foundation has decided not to proceed with any of the tenders from the international design competition.

Date 2009
Client Qatar Foundation
Site Area 20 ha
GFA 230 000 m²
Residential Area 193 000 m²
Public Area 8500 m²
Commercial Area 1500 m²
Apartments 824 one bedroom apartments
1021 two bedroom apartments
184 three bedroom apartments
20 four bedroom apartments
76 villas

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