Situated on the western edge of Doha, Qatar Foundation’s (QF’s) main Education City campus is home to a thriving community that includes educators, researchers, students, and professionals across a range of specialties. Between them, these diverse individuals live, travel, work, and study in an environment that is purpose-built to meet the needs of its current occupants, as well as those people of future generations who will be drawn to a place where the unlocking of their potential is possible. Planners and architects have worked hand in hand with QF’s management to create a built environment that is user-friendly, environmentally friendly, fit for purpose, and that features inspirational designs. Much has been achieved since the first buildings were erected almost two decades ago, but Education City is not yet complete. What exists so far forms part of an ongoing masterplan that has evolved, and continues to evolve, in a way that brings complementary elements that, when combined, create the optimum environment for a thriving and expanding hub of knowledge. Here, we take a look at highlights of the story so far, and at some of the innovative future additions that are set to be made to Education City’s impressive landscape.
Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar
Texas A&M University at Qatar
Community and Recreation Center
Qatar Science & Technology Park
Qatar National Convention Centre
Liberal Arts and Sciences building
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar
QF’s housing complexes (currently one for male students and one for females, with other accommodation planned to house graduates and families) provide a high-quality living environment that incorporates the very best energy-saving elements, ranging from the materials used in the building process to solar panels and wind turbines. The completed female housing complex consists of 12 LEED Platinum-certified buildings – making it the largest single collection of buildings in the world to achieve the highest award for sustainable construction and utilization.
QF’s Golf Course will provide a continuum of sporting facilities that stretches between The Health and Wellness Facilities to the west and Al Shaqab equestrian center to the south, with a bridle path running through the three ventures. The championship-level course will incorporate a clubhouse, an academy of excellence, and housing. Existing heritage buildings will be incorporated into the overall design of the course.
The Ceremonial Green Spine acts as a central landscaped area around which QF’s early university buildings were grouped. It was designed to present a grand open vista with Qatar National Convention Centre acting as an indoor gathering place as the north anchor and, at the spine’s southern end, the Ceremonial Court provides a focus for outdoor gatherings.
The area to the north of the current Dukhan Highway is home to some of the more public-facing QF institutions, namely Qatar National Convention Centre and Sidra Medical and Research Center. This area, which also houses the state-of-the-art Qatar Science & Technology Park will be the site of one of two QF-based hotels (the other will be at the Al Shaqab equestrian center), and a new QF Research and Development complex.
Designed by Rem Koolhaus and housing Qatar National Library’s Heritage Collection of rare books and manuscripts.
Providing a central hub for use by faculty and staff from across QF, this complex also features outdoor areas, including a shaded souk and a video screening area, which will be used by the wider QF community.
Also by architect Rem Koolhaus, the building is designed to look simple and solid from the outside, it features separate zones for general offices, management, and senior management, all of which surround a large central atrium containing bridges connecting departments to each other.
At the eastern edge of Education City, the new Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS) building will be a spectacular addition to Doha’s landscape. The building features a large mosque in addition to areas dedicated to offices and to teaching. Two towers representing minarets rise parallel to each other and at an angle from the main structure. These ‘minarets’ point towards Makkah and are covered in Arabic calligraphy, and the building is designed to look like two intertwined ribbons, representing light and knowledge. Along with another new building that will provide a home for Northwestern University in Qatar, the QFIS building will overlook a new green area known as Oxygen Park. Within this park will be the permanent future home of QF’s Qur’anic Botanic Garden.
QF’s Health and Wellness Facilities will attract global attention when it plays host to football games during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. But the stadium is more than simply an impressive venue for this major tournament – it provides a world-class state-of-the-art facility that the QF community will be able to use for generations to come. Positioned alongside QF’s forthcoming Western Green Spine, the stadium complex will feature classrooms and meeting rooms, as well as an Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis courts, a climbing wall, and more – making it the best utilized major sporting venue in the region. As part of the project’s sustainable commitment, the upper tier will be removed after the 2022 FIFA World Cup concludes to provide additional space for public sporting and recreational activities. Rooftop solar panels will create clean energy that will reduce any carbon emissions produced, with any extra power produced being fed back into Qatar’s national grid system.