John McAslan + Partners develop breaths new life into heart of Qatari's Cultural rengeneration
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Serviced Apartments are at the heart of the Msheireb development, a major project to build an active new centre in Doha, Qatar. The configuration of the hotel and apartments respects the original axis of Old Ukaz Street, which leads east to the Cultural Forum, also by JMP. These two projects serve as decorative bookends of the new Al-Kahraba Square, a public square and strikes a respectful relationship to a new mosque immediately to the north. The concept for this high-specification scheme is underpinned by the underlying visionary principals for Doha’s Msheireb cultural and historic quarter project as a whole.
The design of the buildings that make up the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Serviced Apartments take their guiding points of reference from the traditions of Qatari architecture and the existing townscape of Doha. We have re-interpreted these precedents to define a new language of form, material and overall composition that speaks thoughtfully of change and the future in a fast developing city. A key driver for the development of the massing and elevational treatment of the buildings has been the integration of the buildings with that of the hierarchy, scale and character of the street, lanes, squares and courtyards that surround the site.
The buildings are unified through a crafted approach to the use of materials and detailing. The façades of buildings are treated as solid forms, into which apertures and recesses are cut to reveal the mass and depth of the material. Active retail frontages are wrapped around part of the perimeter of the ground floors. These factors, along with our response to the cultural and social issues, have combined to inform our approach to the project, rooted in tradition, but confident to absorb and transmit contemporary influences.