The VIP Palace master plan is organized along a main East to West axis, which provides a linear layout and the hierarchy of the palace complex. The ultimate aim of the design is to unite the rich culture of Qatar with contemporary 21st century design, by using the most advanced building technology and passive green strategies.
The three central buildings of the complex are the Palace, the Majlis, and the Mosque. They are elevated on an oval garden in order to signify their importance. The concept for this project allows each building to have its own contemporary interpretation, but tie them together by the materiality of white marble, and the mosaic-like landscape of the garden. Large overhangs, canopies, trellis and traditional Islamic patterns are integrated into facades as part of the visual language of the complex. In addition they provide maximum shading in order to counter local climate conditions.
The Palace is conceived by the crescent moon in plan and the eagle in flight, while the Majlis is inspired through organic shapes of flower petals with the central feature incorporating the traditional element of the dome.
The Mosque itself is a solid oval dome, which is split organically by a glazing with a traditional fretwork pattern that allows light to filter into the space. The building features a shaded entrance with a single contemporary minaret. It is surrounded by a pool of water that creates a sense of reflection and serenity. It also helps with the passive cooling strategy.
The three buildings are connected by an elaborate underground service, living, and entertainment layer. Cool sunken courtyards help bring in light and air to these spaces.
Other amenities on the site, but located outside of the main complex, include a soccer field, a playground, a go-kart race track, and a helipad. The various locations can be accessed either via the pedestrian and small vehicle paths or via boats that utilize the surrounding waterways. via e-architect.
Location: Doha, Qatar
Design company: Mak Architects Inc.
Project title: VIP Palace Complex, Design Concept
Project completion time: 2011 competition entry; unbuilt
Project location: Doha, Qatar
Site area: 240,000 sqm
Gross floor area: 55,243 sqm