By Orlando Crowcroft
Architect: Design Focus Partnership, Location: Qatar.
This 11,600 m2 building in Lusail, Qatar, will form part of the country’s US$2.6 billion Energy City Qatar project, due to be a hub for energy companies when it is completed in 2012. The architects, Focus Design Partners, had to balance the individual client’s requirements with the larger master plan, creating a functional campus that is unique in form but in keeping with the larger Energy City project.
ECQ has been touted as the Middle East’s first energy business centre, and is designed to exclusively cater to the commercial, technical and human resource needs of global and regional energy companies. The project will encompass 1.2 km2 and employ as many as 20,000 people. Built on two adjacent lots, Design Focus Partnership’s building is split into two distinct wings which are connected at the top floor. Pedestrian access is from both the north and south.
The overall architectural concept behind the design is of a crystal or diamond form with either slanted or straight vertical planes in the form of triangles, the alternation or interplay of which forms the elevations on the building.
The building floor plans provide for large floor areas with a wide exposure to natural light, and cores are located centrally to leave optimum leasable area along the building perimeter. Mezzanine level accounts for 74% of ground floor and provides a large overlook of the two-story entrance foyer. Common spaces include a roof garden, accessible to all building occupants. A part of the roof is also reserved for the installation of photovoltaic panels to take advantage of a large annual amount of sun light to produce renewable energy.
The design has a fundamental emphasis on sustainability measures, and has to comply with ECQ requirement for LEED Silver certification. Design Focus Partnership proposes the implementation of green systems for optimized energy.
The master plan for the Energy City site imposed strict requirements on building efficiency, particularly in regard to parking, which is contained in two underground levels, enabling the site to remain largely empty of cars.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.