Starchitects OMA have won an international design competition to be the master planners for Doha’s new Airport City in Qatar. Occupying a 10 kilometer square space that will link the new Hamad International Airport with Doha, the mixed-use complex will be comprised of four circular districts connected by a “green spine.” Phase One of the 30 year plan includes business, logistics, retail, hotel, and residential facilities that will mostly be completed in time for the 2022 World Cup.
Whilst it is still uncertain whether Doha will be forced to share the 2022 World Cup or switch from summer to winter given concerns that the Gulf summers might be too arduous for athletes and visitors, Qatar is proceeding with preparations to deliver a state-of-the-art international sporting experience.
In addition to building several solar-powered stadiums, the government is planning to boost its transportation sector to accommodate the thousands of people who are expected to attend what will be the first World Cup to take place in the Middle East.
The four districts include a Business District, where the transportation hub will be centered, an Aviation Campus that will host educational facilities for aviation professionals and the project headquarters, a Logistics District for cargo and warehousing and finally a Residential District that will house employees.
All told, 200,000 people will live and work in Airport City, which OMA’s Rem Koolhaas suggests might be the first of its kind to seriously integrate the airport and the city it serves.
Michel Desvigne designed the “green spine,” which will run parallel to the airport’s runaways and consist of a variety of public spaces, gardens and plazas that will be available to both tourists and local residents. Surrounding this will be a “Desert Park,” according to the design brief.
“Doha’s Airport City is an important addition to the realization of OMA’s work in urbanism and will incorporate unprecedented transport planning opportunities; we look forward to collaborating with the HIA to meet the objectives of this ambitious project,” said Iyad Alsaka, the OMA partner in charge of the project.
While nobody should be building in the desert, given the absence of water so crucial to life, there is no question that Qatar is firmly placing itself on the map with yet another splashy urban development.