bin Mohammad Al Thani had met Jean Nouvel on the occasion of the retrospective
exhibition of the work of the architect at the Centre Pompidou in 2002 and
invited him to design a tower to fit into the vision for the development of
Doha. The Tower is a cylindrical volume that measures 45 metres in diameter.
The steel and concrete structure follows a diamond-shaped grid that bends along
the virtual surface of the cylinder. The facade uses a double-skin system. The
unique exterior skin is composed of four “butterfly” aluminium elements of
different scales and evokes the complexity of the mashrabiyya, while serving as protection from the sun. The pattern
varies according to the orientation and respective needs for solar protection.
The internal layer is a slightly reflective glass skin that completes the solar
protection. Thetower is accessible by a landscaped garden
sloping down to the large lobby under a glass awning surrounding the building.
This bias suggests that the tower is deeply rooted in the earth. Vegetation and
glass canopy overlap so to erase the boundaries between nature and the
environment created by man. A monumental atrium rises from the ground floor up
112 metres to level 27.
al-Asad, Mohammad. 2012. "Workplaces: Institutional Branding". In Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East, 140-162. Gainesville: University Press of Florida
Beginning at the end of the first Gulf War, the Middle East entered a new era of architectural and urban development defined by increased levels of globalization and private sector investment. In the decade that followed, the region was home to a wealth of architectural projects that challenged conventional thinking about architecture and the Middle East itself. Mohammad al-Asad provides an in-depth examination of an abundance of these projects, from homes and schools to hotels and religious centers. Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East examines the economic, political, and cultural context in which the projects were created. The book’s photographs bring attention to previously unaddressed aspects of modern Arabic architecture, highlighting local talent emerging throughout the region.