Architectural Digest (UAE)
WINNER: Msheireb Downtown, Doha, Qatar, by Allies and Morrison and Msheireb Properties
Adapting Doha’s vernacular planning codes – narrow alleyways and tightly packed buildings – for the 21st century and bringing back a sense of place into the heart of the Qatari capital, UK-based architecture and urban planning studio Allies and Morrison have developed a walkable neighbourhood. Preserving the original street pattern of old Doha allowed for a low-rise concept that automatically provides a shaded environment, thus promoting the use of public transport.
Exalting a contemporary approach to passive design principals, optimised glazing, thick walls and structural configurations that maximise natural wind-aided cooling and minimise solar heat gain contribute to the development’s low carbon footprint. Add to it the use of colonnades and Mashrabiya screens that block direct sunlight and solar-panelled roofs; the project claims to have the highest concentration of LEED Gold and Platinum standard buildings in the region. Whilst the development houses a multitude of functions – from retail and hospitality, to commercial and residential – it is the consistency of its visual language, with no individual building trying to steal the limelight, which makes Msheireb Downtown a triumph. alliesandmorrison.com