This walled community on the outskirts of Doha will provide 1,165 flats for the nursing staff of the new Sidra hospital, as part of the Education City development. The scheme will contains a small mosque, community and leisure facilities, restaurants and cafes.
Designed by Allies and Morrison for the Qatar Foundation, Sidra Villa is integrated within the existing street pattern, with new diagonal links connecting the scheme to the hospital it is serving. It is orientated to minimise the impact of the sun with the east-west grain.
Hendrik Heyns, director, Allies and Morrison, adds: “The density of the site is higher than the surrounding villas. Therefore the masterplan was developed with two-storey buildings around the perimeter of the site with blocks split into smaller buildings relating directly to the surrounding villas.
He continues: “The buildings towards the centre of the site step up to three-storeys to accommodate the higher density. This creates a more urban environment. The urban grain across the site reflects the surroundings, which helps to create a fully integrated new part of the city.
Heyes explains: “The brief called for very repetitive one and two bedroom units and this created the danger of a very stark and soulless environment. The design managed to achieve diversity and a sense of place but still using the minimum number of unit types to keep design and construction simple and cost effective.”
Public spaces are integrated throughout, such as a central square, a Sika providing a fully pedestrian route, semi-private courtyards for the residents of each block and private open space in the balconies for each unit. Some buildings also have shaded roof gardens.
“The facades are modelled with recess panels and deep window reveals achieved by using 300mm thick walls,” adds Heyes. “The building fabric is also enriched by the use of four different patterns for the different quarters, in mainly metalwork and precast concrete elements.”
Sustainability credentials include a central cooling plant, solar hot water, solar shading, water recycling for irrigation, a bicycle hire scheme and a bus route. The project is mindful of a potential expansion to the west.