Qatar Foundation

 
The Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies 

The Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies [QFIS] is located on the Education City Campus, Doha, adjacent to OMA Central Library, Texas A+M and Cornell University. QFIS is the only indigenous Qatari University on the Education City Campus. 

The scheme accommodates teaching and faculty space, a research centre and the Education City campus mosque. Our proposal was developed by reworking the historical ‘Kulliyya’ or ‘place where all knowledge is sought’ to provide a progressive learning environment for both male and female students and which places Qatar at the forefront of contemporary Islamic discourse. 

The idea of the Kulliyya implies that knowledge and faith are interwoven but that all knowledge ultimately comes from faith. This relationship is explored through the infinite spiral form of the building and the many pathways which bind faculty to mosque. 

The building narrative is underscored by ribbon of Islamic calligraphy which runs from the mihrab or focal point of the mosque through to the faculty areas. In the faculty the ribbon becomes an exhibition surface which illustrates great moments in the development of Islamic art and architecture - from the Umayyad period through to present day. Contemporary art including graffiti from prominent Arabic artists is also included. 

The spiral form of the building defines the mosque at one end and creates two cantilevered minarets up to 90m high at the other. The spiral offers multiple routes through the faculty gardens and teaching areas towards the mosque. This approach suggests that there are many pathways in life to light – some may find light whilst others may embark on different and more personal journeys- perhaps never seeking or discovering light. 

In the absence of physical context, the building gently navigates the site to carve out a Four Part Islamic Garden around the perimeter of building. The resulting themed garden is based on an interpretation of Jannah [paradise] and contains the four rivers of paradise which are the rivers of wine, milk, honey and water. The mosque itself is elevated on the five pillars of Islam through which the rivers flow. 

The mosque is accessed from a large staircase through the faculty gardens. The forecourt of the mosque accommodates an outdoor prayer space and a tea pavilion. The mosque itself is developed as flexible prayer space and learning arena which also acts as the campus community hub. 

The academic program is distributed in three main areas. Classrooms are organized in west facing clusters around smaller scale courtyards inscribed with historical botanical and scientist manuscripts. The library is located at first floor level and is placed on stepped terraces to create learning zones. The library is also provided with an outdoor and reading deck overlooking the Islamic gardens. 

Faculty offices are located in the eastern wing of the building on four levels with deep courtyards. The offices are separated from the mosque by a four story ablution cascade at the rear of prayer hall. 

Aside from the formal teaching space, the scheme incorporates multiple informal learning areas- from ‘learning corridors’ through to ‘learning lounges’, and outdoor learning space in the Islamic garden. This ad-hoc approach is a deliberate attempt to provide creative interdisciplinary spaces which support encounters between students, staff and other education city faculties. 

The building is clad in white GRC panels with inlaid ceramics highlighting selected areas. The tiling has been uniquely developed from a morphing Islamic pattern which has been optimized to respond to the buildings contours. The pattern appears and disappears through the building and can be read as the effective DNA of project. The scheme is currently under construction.

ASTAD Project Management was established on March 2, 2008, as a strategic 50/50 joint venture by Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Qatar Foundation (QF), in line with the national development plan and 2030 Qatar National Vision (QNV). Its aim is to develop a national, sustainable consultancy capable of providing world-class project management, engineering, and construction consultancy services to the State of Qatar and the region, with an exclusivity agreement in respect of QP and QF works.

 

The rationale behind this QP/QF alliance was that a locally owned and operated consultancy can capture and localize opportunities in the Qatar construction sector and develop sustainable national PM/CM capability at a lower cost base than an international consultancy.

 

The approach provides shareholder value to both QP and QF through its joint QP/QF executive management structure. This is in conjunction with aligning the control and governance frameworks of both entities in joint oversight of sovereign and state-funded programs of work.

 

In respect of other Qatari institutional investors, ASTAD is uniquely positioned due to its ability to cover the full spectrum of professional services for clients. These range from acting as the client’s representative with the Ministry of Finance and associated local bodies to full construction and site management.

 

Because ASTAD is 100% Qatari owned and operated, it also understands local context and market dynamics and, through its technical heritage, retains QP’s engineering expertise. It is also fully capable of program/project managing while delivering to Qatar the current portfolio of amazing and innovative world-class projects that require absolute engineering excellence.

 

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