On the way...
Three interior design projects underway in Qatar
1. NOBU DOHA
Client: Nobu/Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jaber al Thani
Designer: Rockwell Group
Completion date: Autumn 2010
Details: The new Nobu Doha is the second Middle Eastern venue for the world-renowned restaurant group. The freestanding, three-story restaurant will be located on a peninsula on Doha Bay, at the Four Seasons Hotel Doha. The prominent position of this new, dramatic structure will anchor the northern end of the city’s grand Corniche. While exhibiting the iconic Nobu elements of natural, rich materials that reflect the cuisine and rural Japanese roots of Chef Nobu, this location will also reflect the specific history of Doha, and feature many one-of-a-kind art installations that Rockwell Group commissioned specifically for this project. As the city is famous for pearl diving, Rockwell Group is referencing this past in many layers of the design. The lofty double-height main dining room is framed by woven abaca panels custom-made by the Philippine artist Ken Cobonpue. Featured throughout the space are end-grain wood floors, columns clad in white sea-shells and a field of spherical glass light fixtures of various sizes custom-crafted by the Canadian artist Ken Gangbar.
2. HOTEL AT SHUYOUKH PORT
Designer: Focus Design Partners
Located on the Corniche, alongside iconic structures such as the Museum of Islamic Art and the Emir’s Palace, the Hotel at Shuyoukh Port has been dubbed as a ‘six-star’ property. The form of the building bears an obvious resemblance to a boat. The overall design proposes a highly contemporary form, varied in elevation and height, which nonetheless incorporates the local architectural spirit in an abstract but very recognisable way. The interior of the hotel is a five-story atrium space flooded with natural light that is filtered through a patterned brise-soleil which covers a large skylight. The four upper stories project progressively outward to create a very dynamic space. This also guides the eye towards a four-story waterfall, behind which two grand staircases lead towards the lower level café, with access to the outside pool. Interior materials that will dominate include Carrara marble, natural stone and mahogany wood, gold and silver-plated details, as well as ornamental and art glass.
3. ECQ D17
Client: Qatar Finance House
Designer: Focus Design Partners
Completion date: 2012
Part of the new Energy City in Qatar, ECQ D17, owned by Qatar Finance House, is a core and shell project that extends to interior design work for the lobby and core areas. QFH building is a 5-story (plus two basements) office building with a distinct architectural character. The project is aiming for LEED, Silver Level certification. The architectural design concept revolves around the notion of continuity, which promotes a certain element of both boldness and elegance. The choice and pattern of materials also carries the overall notion of curvilinear design and continuity. The lobby’s floor patterns build on the visual lines established by elements such as the interior garden, the outline of the mezzanine floor and the five-story front entrance curtain wall. Patterned tile in shades of grey is matched with wall panelling and finishes that give an ephemeral effect; that of water, waves andsails. The choice of materials carries the idea of coolness, of purity in the white on the exterior, of transparency in the grey-tinted glazing.