Renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, who is most famous for his spectacular bridges, has unveiled a radical new design for three bridges and an elevated park that will completely transform Doha’s skyline in time for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Called Sharq Crossing, Calatrava’s distinctive new design comprises three interconnected bridges that will traverse 10 kilometers of Doha Bay.
In addition to alleviating traffic congestion, the new crossing will cut down travel time by providing a direct link between the city’s cultural district in the north to Hamad International Airport and the central business district in West Bay.
The three bridges are expected to handle up to 2,000 vehicles per hour per lane, and adjacent subsea tunnels will accommodate additional traffic.
“Sharq Crossing is an engineering masterpiece of design,” said Ashghal president H.E Eng. Nasser Bin Ali Al-Mawlawi, the head of the emirate’s public works authority.
“And while providing an important new artery to Doha’s existing road network, it will be instantly recognisable across the world and will be an emblem of rQatar.”
But there’s a downside to bridges: they attract more cars, which means more carbon emissions, and ultimately more pollution.
Calatrava, quite like Zaha Hadid, has been rather slow to catch up to the “green” design scene. His designs are inimitable, but they’ve never been particularly revolutionary in terms of their carbon footprint. However, Sharq Crossing might indicate a shift in the Spanish master’s design paradigm.
Unlike former projects, this design for Doha calls for the construction of a new recreational park that will be accessed via an elevated walkway. In part this will extend the city’s green and public space, but it will help to offset at least a small portion of a surge of carbon emissions that will inevitably arise.
Despite all the furor and hubbub surrounding the World Cup – accusations (justified) of slave-like working conditions, rumors of bribery, and ridiculously high temperatures – this is a very exciting time for Qater and the rest of the Middle East.
It is the first time that a nation in this region has hosted a World Cup and Qatar has the money to go all out. This isn’t great for the environment, of course, though we do appreciate the small gestures, but it’s pretty awesome for the designers who have the opportunity to put forth their finest art.
:: Arch Daily