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Doha Architecture City Guide: 15 Contemporary Projects to Explore Architecture in the Capital City of Qatar

Doha is the capital of Qatar and the county’s most populated area, accommodating more people than the rest of Qatar combined. Located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, Doha is a relatively young city, founded in the vicinity of another settlement, Al Bidda, sometime during the 1820s. In recent years, the city has seen rapid population growth, an image reflected in the architectural landscape. During the 1960s and 1970s, many of the old districts in Doha have been demolished to make space for new developments, while a number of schemes have been deployed to advocate for the preservation of the city’s cultural and architectural heritage.

In 2022, Qatar welcomed the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, one of the most anticipated sports events of the past year, held in an Arab country for the first time. With many stadiums built in or around Doha, the country prepared extensively for the event, yet concerns were raised due to the hot climate and the extensive adaptations needed to host a sporting event of this scale.

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Paying Tribute to the Influential Architects We Have Recently Lost

The profession of architecture is often marked by those individuals who employ their talent and resources to enable change and bring forth a vision for a better future. While some of them began their careers with bold gestures that captured the attention of the architectural world and changed paradigms, others worked in a more quiet manner, shifting the focus to the users of the space and asking themselves how they can best contribute to enriching the lives of those around them. 

As the new year begins, we pause to look back to the architects who have passed away over the course of the last year but whose legacy and contribution to architecture outlive them. Among them, we remember Pritzker Prize laureate and pioneer of the High-Tech Richard Rogers, Post-Modern icon Ricardo Bofill, the thoughtful Gyo Obata, advocate and innovator Doreen Adengo, social housing pioneer Renée Gailhoustet and the many-sided Pritzker Prize laureate Arata Isozaki.

Kimberly Dowdell Chosen as AIA’s First Black Woman President

The American Institute of Architects has elected Kimberly Dowdell as the 100th president of the organization, making her the first Black woman to hold the position in AIA’s 165-year history. Delegates at the AIA’s annual meeting voted Dowdell to serve first as vice president for 2023. Afterward, she will become president in 2024.

During her campaign for president, Dowdell has expressed her support for minorities, while also making clear that she wants to be an AIA president for all. Her platform is based on four key areas of interest: supporting architects in practice, creating a sense of belonging and ensuring access to the architectural profession and education, addressing climate concerns, and designing for the future, considering rapid technological advances. “I firmly believe that the AIA has the power and potential to better serve our profession” she declared in a video made prior to the election.

BIG and HOK’s Timber Design Wins the Global Zurich Airport Competition

BIG and HOK’s Timber Design Wins the Global Zurich Airport Competition - Featured Image
© IIMIGO

Dock A, the largest dock of the Zurich Airport, was the subject of international competition. BIG forms the winning team as design lead with HOK as aviation architect, 10:8 architects, engineer Buro Happold, timber experts Pirmin Jung, and aviation consultant NACO. Their design proposal centers on passenger experience and movement through the airport. A pared-back material palette reveals the loadbearing system of the building: V-shaped timber columns provide both a structural function and a distinctive identity true to its place and era, according to the jury.

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Gyo Obata’s Restaurant Pavilion in Washington D.C to be Demolished and Replaced with Bezos Learning Center

The Smithsonian Institution has announced that the glass-clad pyramid restaurant of Washington D.C's National Air and Space Museum, designed by Gyo Obata, FAIA, co-founder of renowned architecture firm HOK, will be demolished this spring and replaced with a new educational facility titled the Bezos Learning Center. The restaurant is one of two buildings designed by the late architect for the National Mall, originally constructed in 1988 as an additional structure to the National Air and Space Museum, that served as a dining area for the museum's visitors.

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Gyo Obata, Founding Partner at HOK, Passes Away at 99

American architect Gyo Obata, FAIA, co-founder of renowned architecture firm HOK, has passed away on March 8 at the age of 99. The news was announced by the office through a statement, honoring the architect's legacy and highlighting his holistic approach which "helped drive HOK’s ongoing expansion into new specialty practices, market sectors and geographic regions".

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A Sneak Peek of Expo 2020 Dubai

With less than half a year to go until the opening, Expo 2020 Dubai released a series of images of the venues hosting the event, which intends to bring together 192 national pavilions, as well as businesses and educational institutions. As the program was delayed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the world expo site is mainly complete, awaiting its opening on October 1st.

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HOK's West London Masterplan Receives Planning Approval Along Bollo Lane

Ealing Council has approved HOK's masterplan for redeveloping a half-mile-long, narrow stretch of land along Bollo Lane in West London. The team's proposal includes 852 new homes with 50 per cent affordable housing ranging from 4 to 24 floors in height. Delivered by Transport for London (TfL), the scheme culminates in a mixed-use tower near Chiswick Business Park and the Piccadilly line tracks.

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Patrick MacLeamy on Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm

The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by Architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions.

A variety of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes are interviews, while others are tips for fellow designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or casual explorations of everyday life and design. The Second Studio is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

This week David and Marina are joined by Patrick MacLeamy, Architect and Former CEO of HOK to discuss his new book, 'Designing a World-Class Architecture Firm: The People, Stories, and Strategies Behind HOK'. Patrick discusses the struggles HOK went through, acquiring other offices, maintaining office culture, the key components of a successful architecture office, and much more. Enjoy!

One Year to Go: Expo 2020 Reveals Latest Pavilions as the Event Moves Forward

With one year to go until Expo 2020 Dubai, the organizing committee of the event has revealed new images of the main pavilions under construction. While the majority of the work in 2020 was focused on landscaping and the main Expo buildings, the construction of the 192 national pavilions is back on track, to conclude by the end of the year.

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Gensler Ranks First in the 2020 U.S. Top Architecture Firms, for the Ninth Year in a Row

Comparing revenues from the previous year, Architectural Record lines up annually a list of the Top 300 U.S. Firms. Based on the 2019 data, Gensler tops again the selection, for the ninth year in a row, and Perkins and Will takes the second position. Third, fourth and fifth places were presented for Engineering Architecture firms HDR, Jacobs, and AECOM. Other companies in the top 10 include HKS and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

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3 Major Architecture Firms Propose School Buses and Shipping Containers for Accessible Testing Labs

Despite all the news of re-openings, lifted restrictions, al fresco options dining, and a return to something more closely resembling “normal,” COVID-19 is still very much with us. And despite the defeatist/downplayed/nothing to see here stance embraced by the current presidential administration, the United States is still in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis. In some states, both new reported cases and hospitalizations have now reached record highs.

This being said, the need for accessible, easy to fabricate, and quick-to-deploy testing facility solutions are still in great need, particularly in dense urban areas, at large institutions and workplaces, and in underserved communities where coronavirus testing might come as a luxury, not a basic necessity. In terms of testing availability, all bases need to and must be covered.

Building Boom: Qatar's Monumental New Architecture

Qatar has been radically reshaped by growth and development. The sovereign state transformed since the second half of the twentieth century after the discovery of the Dukhan oil field in 1940. Capitalizing on over 70 years of economic development, Qatar now has the highest per capita income in the world. Reflecting the country’s wealth, its modern architectural projects are being built at a monumental scale.

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Expo 2020 Dubai Pavilions and Architecture

For the Dubai 2020 Expo, the United Arab Emirates and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, selected the theme Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. Organized around ideas of Sustainability, Mobility and Opportunity, the next world Expo will be the first to be held in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region. Organised every five years, the world expo lasts six months and is created as a global destination for millions of people to share ideas, showcase innovation, encourage collaboration and celebrate human ingenuity.

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The 25 Largest Sports Stadiums in the World

In 776 BC, the Olympic Games of antiquity were hosted at the Olympia stadium in Peloponnese, Greece, an arena widely believed to be the world’s oldest stadium. The elongated U-shaped track and stand had a capacity of up to 45,000 people.

Almost 3000 years later, and the typology of the sports stadium continues to act as a gathering place for tens of thousands of eager spectators. As populations, and indeed revenue generated from sporting events continues to increase around the world, the design of sports stadiums is destined to follow suit.

The Stadiums That Could Host the 2026 World Cup Bid in the US, Canada, and Mexico

The Stadiums That Could Host the 2026 World Cup Bid in the US, Canada, and Mexico - Featured Image
© Flikr user ID12019 licensed under CC0 1.0

I hope you have caught your breath after this year’s FIFA World Cup. France’s win in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium marked the end of an era; the last World Cup with a classic format. After the 2022 Winter tournament in Qatar, the competition will be expanded to 48 teams (rather than the current 32).

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