ARCHITECTURE: Jean Nouvel in Qatar

Jean Nouvel’s latest project in the gulf, is an iconic tower and according to the experts, the Best Tall Building Worldwide.

 Text: Mary Giatra


The 232-meter high Burj Doha is rooted in the gulf city and completes the impressive skyline with a lace-like layered facade that reminds us of the shanasheel screens -common ornaments of the area. The building is designed to hold offices for businesses wishing to operate in the diverse business district of the city.


It is a grand scale, massive tower but its elaborate facade acts as a shading screen, protecting from the hot weather of the desert. The design is the first to successfully embody dia-grid reinforced concrete on the building skin. This way, a sunscreening layer of islamic screens is being created over the entire surface, allowing the light to delicately pass through the butterfly shaped patterns. At the same time, this technology protects the building from high temperatures as well as the unpleasant sand of the region. The vast green space and a vertical garden are the first in the state of qatar as well.


The tower is located in the city center and overlooks the waters of the gulf. This way, the building is surrounded by water and sky. As the sun moves over the city, the colors of the sky pass through and create a mystical atmosphere in the tower interior. The blue that can be seen through the filleted circumference of a dome makes the feeling of touching the sky even more intense.


photos courtesy of HBS