Pictures: Al Hitmi residential

Completed in April 2012, the new residential section is the final piece of the jigsaw for Doha’s distinctive Al Hitmi complex, designed by Norr Group Consultants.

With a built up area of 27,743m2, the 15-storey tower accommodates a total of 84 units and sits behind the older seven-storey office section, completed in 2010.

Located on a prime waterfront site along the Doha Corniche, the Al Hitmi complex overlooks IM Pei’s Museum of Modern Art. With its striking, futuristic form, it has long been a landmark for central Doha. The sculptural design is composed of solid granite masses sliced through by a glazed atrium that looks to the water.

A key attribute of the project is a dramatic sky-lit atrium which dissects the office building and folds vertically up through the residential tower. This internal space, suggestive of a ravine or gorge between massive rock forms, is clad in high per­formance glass that allows natural light into the buildings while reflecting the sun’s heat.

Yahya Jan, NORR’s Design Director and Vice President, said that the building is intended to be abstract, despite its residential and commercial nature. “We felt that this unique development along the water should be monumental and abstract rather than typically building like.”

“He continued:  “We went to great lengths to create a sculptural massing and façade texture evocative of natural geological forms.” As a result, the buildings are clad in a skin of polished and honed black granite interspersed with grey-tinted glazing that creates a monumental and scale-less exterior for the project.

A distinctive characteristic of the residential section is the three landscape atrium levels, each four storeys high, offering enclosed passive gardens for the residents. In addition, a roof garden has been designed as a passive leisure space with water features integrated within hard and soft landscape areas.

Three panoramic elevators provide views of the atrium spaces and of the Doha harbour beyond.  Facilities in the residential tower also include a roof top fitness centre, an open pool terrace and two levels of basement parking for 107 cars.

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