Rem Koolhaas to masterplan Qatar's Airport City

Office for Metropolitan Architecture wins international competition

Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas has also designed the Qatar National Library in Doha.
Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas has also designed the Qatar National Library in Doha.

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The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), co-founded by globally-acclaimed Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, has been announced as the masterplanner for Qatar's proposed Airport City, after winning an international competition.

The new 10km2 development, where 200,000 people will live and work, is meant to link the Hamad International Airport (HIA) with the city of Doha.

OMA's masterplan is a series of four circular districts along a spine parallel to the HIA runways, intended to create a strong visual identity and districts with unique identities.

Phase One of the 30-year master plan, which links airside and landside developments for business, logistics, retail, hotels, and residences, will be mostly complete in time for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, hosted by Qatar.

Koolhaas commented: "We are delighted and honoured to participate in the exciting growth of Doha, in a project that is perhaps the first serious effort anywhere in the world to interface between an international airport and the city it serves."

Partner-in-charge Iyad Alsaka commented: "Doha's Airport City is an important addition to the realisation 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."

Each district of Airport City "will be unique within the master plan's overall identity". The Business District will centre on a major new transport hub linking with greater Doha; the Aviation Campus will accommodate office headquarters and educational facilities for aviation authorities; the Logistics District will provide cargo and warehousing facilities; and the Residential District, adjacent to the new Doha Bay Marina, will accommodate future employees.

A Green Spine connects the districts, echoing their individual identities as it runs north-south. The landscaping scheme, developed by Michel Desvigne, is a new public space for Doha that will be used by residents and tourists. A network of public spaces, gardens and plazas will stretch across the site, surrounded by a Desert Park.

The competition team was led by OMA partners Alsaka, Reinier de Graaf, Koolhaas and OMA associate Katrin Betschinger in collaboration with engineering consultant WSP.

The Airport City masterplan and development of its individual elements is being led by Alsaka, project director Slavis Poczebutas and Betschinger.

Before the 2022 World Cup, Airport City infrastructure and utilities will be completed along with the western taxiway and aircraft parking system adjacent to the HIA's second runway, the HIA Visa Building, and the visual concept planning of the future transport hub.

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