Experts debate Qatar’s need for tall buildings

16-08-12 architectural roundtable-CWQ

Development challenges for Qatar, including the need for tall towers, were debated at a recent roundtable discussion held by Construction Week Qatar.

The discussion, chaired by editor William Skidmore, brought together senior representatives from Tangram, Woods Bagot and engineers WSP.

Nigel Eckersall, general manager from Tangram Qatar, commented:  “Today it is seen that all leading cities must have a tall tower to be able to compete as an economic hub.

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“However, wouldn’t it be brave for Doha and Qatar to buck the trend and instead aim for a culturally vernacular and sustainable environment built around people’s needs?”

The US$5.5bn mixed-use Msheireb scheme, under construction in the heart of the city, was identified by the experts as a key future project.

Gurminder Singh Sagoo, head of business development and marketing for WSP Middle East, added: “Msheireb is a clear example of a how to wow without going tall. It will be interesting to see how Qatar evolves and if they want the world’s tallest tower.

Eckersall replied: “I don’t think they want [the tallest buildings], I think they will want to ensure sustainable development which integrates infrastructure and public realms. Qatar has a more sympathetic approach to development.”

Karim Benkirane, regional managing principal for Woods Bagot, remarked: “People need to be proud of the city they live in. Musheireb will be a tourist attraction, but [the high rise area of] West Bay won’t. People will want to go there.

“There are very few nations in the world who can attest to trying to accomplish something as radical as Qatar.”

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3 Responses to Experts debate Qatar’s need for tall buildings

  1. Uche says:

    Tall building appear a perfect sight to behold for any fast growing city like Qatar, but to expand development particularly on this could create in-balance in social, economical and ecological trend within a certain civilization.

    Tall building most probably are best detailed for areas called CDB (Central Business District ), this become cost-effective and favorable, since offices are strategically confide within available land space which promotes efficiency and easy work-ability.

    The after effects of tall building undulates, therefore, observations verified on existing facilities will help in future development. I coincide with Mr.Kirim idea that “People need to be proud of the city they live in”, irrespective of the trends in vogue.

  2. Jack says:

    Majority of the highrises we have are empty… and there isnt enough parking space even if there were people to fill it………

    So it is just a poorly planned advertisement of Doha……

  3. Deepak H Nair says:

    It makes more sense in developing the culture and the heritage which is at the edge of extinction. High raised building/ Towers are definitely a business hub, but when focusing on Qatar major source of income is from Oil and Gas for which the current facility is more than sufficient. Rather than competing to have tallest of the towers it would be attractive to have the best of the architectural skill by developing projects which attract tourist and highlight the culture and heritage of the nation.

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