UNLIMITED DOHA DESIGN PRIZE
We were selected by the British Council to attend a design residency in Doha, Qatar. The brief for the 10 day challenge was to explore the subject of accessibility and connectivity within the ‘Open City’ theme. A study area was identified in sectors 15 and 16 called ‘Al Ghanem’ and ‘Al Doha Al Jadeeda’ to examine ideas that help improve the experience of movement within the city. With the 2022 Football World Cup soon approaching plans are being made to transform this neighbourhood due to its prime location.
This district is the ideal place to celebrate the street life of the city, for residents and visitors from other districts and further afar to experience the rich and varied original streetscape and architecture of Qatar, to promenade and pause for respite and to observe and engage with the vibrant street life of the regenerated Al Ghanem district of Old Doha.
Responding to the theme of the Open City we propose to transform a connected network of streets, side streets and to activate disused pocket spaces with a series of urban components and interventions. Using shading structures, light and water, our proposal will encourage residents and visitors to stroll, sit, pray and experience a range of other free time activities. We envisage that the pocket spaces could also be used for temporary events that respond to the religious and cultural calendar of the city.
By re-imagining the streetscape as a series of installations that create ever changing shadows during the course of the day and lighting by night, our proposal will encourage people to walk, sit and relax. In addition it will enhance existing economic activities in the neighbourhood.
Our proposal responds to the extreme climate of Doha by providing not just better wheelchair accessibility but also places for those effected by the heat as well as for the elderly or disabled to sit or pause for shelter and rest. Water features in the pockets enable spaces to be cooled. We propose to improve the night time lighting of the neighbourhood for the visually impaired to walk the streets. Playful and safer pedestrianised streets will provide a better environment for families with children. Enhanced tree planting will provide additional shading on the streets and in pocket spaces.
With 600,000 visitors due to arrive in Doha in 2022, it is important, that there is a place for visitors to spend their leisure time and what better way than exploring the old town by day or promenading its streets by night and enjoying its vibrant street life.
HIERARCHY OF STREETS
PROPOSED NETWORK OF WALKING STREETS
PROPOSED STREET VIEW
FOCUS AREA ELEVATION
FOCUS AREA PLAN
MORNING – NOON – AFTERNOON – EVENING
Team: Bharat&Jean, Rashid Ali, Nerea Corral, Ben Allen