Text description provided by the architects. Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) is a key initiative of the Qatar Foundation in its drive to diversify the economy, create highly skilled jobs and to establish Qatar as a knowledge economy in the Middle East.
Qatar is championing industry-based research and development, and is investing deeply in education and science. In the QSTP, Qatar is building a world-class environment for companies to develop their technology in Qatar, including a business incubator to help technology start-ups.
The vision of the masterplan is to create both a physical and virtual hub for the knowledge economy in Qatar - an effective environment for research, with an identity that is both unique to Qatar and of global stature. Integrated into Education City, the QSTP is placed at the crossing point of the east-west arrival axis and the major north-south 'green spine' that links the campus with other precincts of Education City.
The masterplan for the QSTP encompasses 123 ha of land which is integrated with the facilities of the Qatar Foundation, its new teaching hospital and the new convention centre. Phase one construction of the QSTP, comprises 115,000 sqm of development. At its heart is the 12,000 sqm Incubator Centre (IC), incorporating the administrative hub and business centre. This building is flanked by the first tow tenant laboratory Information Transfer Centre (ITTC) buildings, each 20,000 sqm.
The design of the built form draws on Islamic cultural references in an abstracted, contemporary expression using cutting edge technology. An important feature of Islamic architecture is the focus on the interior space as opposed to the outside, or facade. The buildings are generally enveloped by double skin-facades that respond to the climate of the area, and the internal highly elaborate and activated atria, equivalent to the inner life of a traditional courtyard.
The distinctive wave-like 'veil' roof structure of QSTP's circulation spine has a sculptural quality which strongly contrasts with the horizontality of the landscape. The multifunctional 'veil' provides shading to the outdoor areas and allows the buildings to be physically and symbolically connected. The swelling of the 'veil' over the central Incubator Centre accentuates the heart of the site and announces the major entrance through a 34metre high atrium. The veil then extends across the site to the east and west into the ITTC buildings and provides protection to the central atrium/courtyards.
Capitalizing on its strategic location, the iconic Incubator Centre is the nucleus of QSTP. Located at the centre of the site on an elevated podium, it has an aeronautical quality and appears to defy gravity, like a hovering UFO, which gives it a subliminal presence in the landscape. By elevating the IC building, the whole under croft podium spine is given over to public areas and retail tenancies including banking, travel outlets, prayer rooms and other amenities.