Italian architecture firm One Works has won an international competition to design the Transportation Education Centre held by Qatar Rail in Doha.
Qatar Rail was founded in 2011 with a mission to design, develop and maintain the entire Qatar railway network.
The centre is planned to encompass the changes undergone in Doha by presenting its past, present and future, reflected through the architecture of the building.
Doha’s urban fabric is rapidly developing around the state of the art metro infrastructure, designed to enable a new generation of travellers to move quickly and easily within all other means of transportation. A public transport network so interconnected represents a unique opportunity for social and economic development for the City and the entire Nation.
“We wanted to enhance Qatar’s heritage in every key element of our project, as well as in every single detail by recognising how Qatar can look to the future by virtue of its past,” said Leonardo Cavalli, partner at One Works.
Mohammed Timberly, senior director at Qatar Rail said One Works developed a concept for the centre that “achieves a perfect synthesis of what Qatar Rail is developing for its country and its architectural and cultural legacy, making Transportation and Education Centre a dynamic and integrated element”.
The building will be located between Lusail Boulevard and the Al Qassar Metro Station.
The project is designed to be an exhibition space, as well as an education centre and recreational facility, designed to create a direct relationship with citizens and visitors, making them a pro-active component of the complex.
The main building is inspired by conical shape of desert forts. It hosts all the services including offices, theatre and a roof top restaurant, taking advantage of the extreme local climatic conditions by using the powerful air current to activate air conditioning through a mechanical ventilation system.
The exhibition is spread throughout the Transport Education Centre Park (TEC Park), an open air public space, which surrounds the main building. This park can host outdoor expositions with a part dedicated to mass transportation as well as being a public place tightly integrated in the overall public realm of the network.
The area can be transited by citizens following avenues and footpaths suitable for the most diverse means of personal transport – from bicycles to roller blades and skateboards. From the TEC park grounds, visitors are also invited to take in the panoramic views of the major transport infrastructures surrounding the centre: from the subway to the highway.
The Transport Education Centre Park also acts as the roofing element for the main indoor exhibition area. Here, along with other transportation vehicles exhibited, visitors can engage with new experiences through virtual reality programs disseminated throughout the exhibition spaces.
To emphasise the indissoluble relationship between time and transport, the indoor exhibition, which unfolds in the horseshoe area overlooking the outdoor courtyard, is marked by 24 areas delimited by visible lines – such as the hours of the day – as well as from the controlled penetration of natural sunlight, which animates the internal space throughout the course of day.
The main building is unmistakably inspired by its majestic conical shape of desert forts. It hosts all the services, offices, theatre and roof top restaurant, taking advantage of the extreme local climatic conditions by using the powerful air current to activate air conditioning through a mechanical ventilation system.
The various forms, materials and motifs have been designed to emphaise the legacy between Islamic culture and Qatar’s natural environment.
“Over that last few years in the Gulf countries – particularly in Doha – where we are present through our Dubai office – we’ve worked extremely hard alongside major construction contractors who are responsible for developing the new metro network,” said Giulio De Carli, partner at ONE WORKS.
“We have learned to know and appreciate the foresight and vision of Qatar Rail – it is a crucial element of urban development, and we seek to implement this through our design concept.”