I

nternational compound


QA Doha

The aim of this project is to provide a required housing type currently inexistent in Doha for mainly expatriate clients who desire the privacy and tranquillity of a private home with some private exterior space and garden, complemented by easy access to community amenities including shopping, restaurant, cultural, sport, leisure and health facilities. A part from achieving a certain density resulting in economic units, the other important factor is the local climate, harsh and extremely hot.
Maximum efficiency [+-]
Although it is still spatious and comfy.

The goal of this development was to achieve the maximum number of units, while keeping the ground floor only height. By including innner gardens we could have the minimal façade area. That means, less AC needs, less roads and more privacy. The direct results are reduced construction and maintenance cost and high living standards.

Variety [+-]
Designing repetitive units gives boring results.

In order to avoid it, big efforts were put into designing the streets. Each area has a recognizable design and use, in a similar way to the way traditional cities evolved.

There are three defining characteristics of the climate: scarce rainfall, less than 100mm per annum; high year-round temperatures averaging between 17º and 35ºC with maximums soaring over 50ºC during summer, and; the Shamal, the dry desert north northwest wind that blows down the Arabian Gulf. In June and July it blows almost continuously, but usually under 50km/h, causing great dust storms, especially in July, when five or more such storms may occur lasting 3 to 5 days each.
An urban park that prioritizes green pedestrian spaces. Although all residences have garage, more importantly all residents have an alternative garden walk linking the houses to the public amenities and doubling as a shared park-like area for relaxing and socialising.
The houses are modern and single-storey, with open planning and flexibility in configuration, are built with a relatively high density, although all have private outdoor spaces as well as direct connections to the shared community park. To meet the demand of the house inhabitants and to create the subsequent complementary infrastructure a recreational centre is located at the centre of the site, and a commercial centre along the road front boundary.


Standard GF plan, 158m² 2BHK.


Open type, 207m² 2BHK.
Building orientation, the use of large rooves to provide shade, extreme isolation, the layering and perforating of façade elements and the incorporation of water and planting are all combined as expressed solutions to the climatic conditions. Spaces are shaded but ventilated; the separation between interior and exterior dissolves, translucent solar protection and articulated wind filtering elements adapt the conditions to create relaxing spaces. The interior or semi-interior courtyards or patios are a key space in providing both privacy and comfort.
The urban planning minimises roads, with just one loop road around the site, from which lanes radiate to reach all the houses, providing all residences with a carport at their entrance. The density is created here in these urban lanes, tree lined and practical with space for pedestrians, bicycles, and car turning, while, conversely, the other sides of the houses open onto the park and green spaces to create an ambience of space and relaxation, all of which combines to contribute to a great quality of life.
The park setting means all residents have an alternative garden walk linking the houses to the public amenities and doubling as a shared park-like area for relaxing and socialising. So as to make the park continuous and avoid the one, inevitable pedestrian road crossing, the recreational centre is located on this central crossing point, and doubles as a road bridge and pedestrian tunnel. A landscape project as much as it is architecture, this octagonal star shaped plan has ramped arms and a totally green roof, over which passes the road uninterrupted. The lateral façades of the eight arms are transparent and translucent panels, where the entrances of the recreational spaces or sub-road pass are located.
The other public building is the commercial centre, located along the southern edge of the site to provide a sound and privacy barrier between the road and the residential zone, and to promote itself to the public: many of the tenant stores or business can have street presence with signage, etc. visible from the road. This long two-storey commercial shopping mall is punctuated by a series of long light wells along its longitudinal axis, coinciding with the interior pedestrian street. Restaurant and café terraces open out towards the residential park, from where resident could have direct access.


Vehicular access


Green areas description


Building types
There are three sizes of house, three variations upon a type, reached after the design and study of many variations of house models. There is a large three bedroom size, measuring 207m², a smaller house measuring 158m², and the smallest with two patios being 123m² in area. The plan is an interconnection of two linked interior spaces surrounding three sides of a patio that is linked to the entrance patio and adjacent garage and to the garden alongside the house.
Through this garden space the residents accede the public garden and park spaces, hence the private and public gardens can merge, blurring the division of property and promoting the voluntary care of the common gardens by the residents as they have the pleasurable effect that their garden effectively is continuous.
The houses, in the majority of cases, share a party wall, have one closed street façade and two façades open to the garden. The inclusion of the party wall permits the increment of density, avoids any narrow, insecure back passages, and generates more space for the gardens between interfacing neighbours. The house plans are organised into two zones, public and private. The patio that reaches deep into the centre of the house creates more lineal façade and therefore creates better cross-flow ventilation and natural illumination to all spaces. Large roof eaves shade the interior and glazing to avoid any overheating, and the patio has a permeable pergola structure, able to be covered with a ventilating awning. A water pool and garden stretch from the paved entrance and patio space into the garden, contributing to freshen air flow through this space.
PROJECT DETAILS

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Project preview