Design for Constant Change

Research and design by Rami el Samahy, Kristina Ricco, and Kelly Hutzell. Additional production assistance provided by Michelle Lopez, David Bradshaw, Paul Kim, Janice Hui and James Garvey.

Until now the tendency in Doha has been to develop in a speculative manner — a propensity to build all at once without full consideration of how to fill it. As a result, a landscape of air-conditioned, near-empty two-story buildings dominates. The climatic constraints are real: while the weather is quite livable for more than half the year, the hottest four months can be difficult to bear. Yet simple proposals can extend the time in which outdoor activity is comfortable, and indoor spaces can be cooled more efficiently through intelligent design.

A model showing one possible aggregation of units

A model showing one possible aggregation of units

A model showing one possible aggregation of units

Organizing Principles

This solution proposes an idealized box, a simple yet carefully calibrated variation of the Maison Dom-ino that accommodates a plethora of space layouts, programs, and enclosures. Composed of a precise set of components and systems, the box can accept myriad functions. Because of its unit structure, it can be easily transported to the site on an as-needed basis and plugged into the site infrastructure. A variety of façade and roof strategies based on performative criteria can help reduce solar gain and create a richly diverse architectural language. Orientation and function dictate not only the façade direction, but also how the buildings aggregate, as well as the height and distance between buildings.

Grid structure

Systems

Layout

Enclosure

Enclosure

Aggregate

With a set of basic rules, the addition of buildings can occur organically over time. At each stage of development, appropriately scaled public spaces will accompany the buildings, such as a park, plaza, courtyard, or garden. Importantly, most streets are shaded, enabling comfortable pedestrian passage throughout the neighborhood.

Aggregate

Aggregate

Aggregate