Qatar's new science park designed by Woods Bagot
The QSTP is a key initiative of the Qatar Foundation in its drive to diversify the economy, create highly skilled jobs and to establish Qatar as a knowledge economy in the Middle East. Qatar is championing industry-based research and development, and is investing deeply in education and science. In the QSTP, Qatar is building a world-class environment for companies to develop their technology in Qatar, including a business incubator to help technology start-ups.
The QSTP masterplan encompasses 123 hectares of land which is integrated with the facilities of the Qatar Foundation, its new teaching hospital and the new convention centre. Phase one construction comprises 115,000 sq m of development. At its heart is the 12,000 sq m Incubator Centre, incorporating the administrative hub and business centre. This building is flanked by the first tow tenant laboratory Information Transfer Centre buildings, each 20,000 sq m.
QSTP is both architecturally elegant and fitting with the site as a whole. The approach to the park is dominated by the distinctive, undulating roof, and the structure is visible from the centre of Qatar’s capital Doha. The significance of this location has been marked by Woods Bagot through the use of a perforated, aluminium ‘veil’, that runs along the front length of the site.
Shimmering in the desert sun, the veil is at once functional, providing shade and the basis for the development of microclimatic environments through the careful selection of finishes and softscape areas, and the re-interpretation of the shapes of the surrounding desert and other influences from Qatari culture.
The design features the separation of motor vehicles from pedestrians. The podium provides a pedestrian-only landscaped environment, under the ‘veil’ shade structure that links the buildings. People are encouraged to move freely between the activity hubs in the tenant building atrium spaces and the Incubator Centre’s retail outlets and service facilities.