HAMED BIN KHALIFA UNIVERSITY/ Victor Legorreta & Ricardo Legorreta

   

HAMED BIN KHALIFA UNIVERSITY

Doha, Qatar

Architecture: LEGORRETA + LEGORRETA Rica

rdo Legorreta -Víctor Legorreta -Miguel Almaraz -Adriana Ciklik -Carlos Vargas

The HBKU is composed of various unique buildings designed by architects selected from around the world. The Master plan, designed by Arata Isosaki, is a harmonious blend of architecture and exterior spaces. The main features are the Green Spines crossing from north to south as well as from east to west. Legorreta + Legorreta was selected to design the Texas A&M Engineering College (592,000 sqft), the Carnegie Mellon Business and Computer Science College (430,550 sqft), the Georgetown School of Foreign Service (538,000 sqft) as well as the Student Center (345,000 sqft).

The Texas A&M Engineering College, consists of two main buildings, an Academic Quadrangle and a Research Octagon. The Academic Quadrangle houses four engineering faculties (Chemistry, Mechanical, Electrical and Petroleum) and is designed around four courtyards. The common areas like the library and student facilities are located in an 82 ft high central tower. The central tower is connected by office arms with the Quadrangle. The main entrance is announced by another 82 ft high monumental tower located on the east side of the Academic Quadrangle. Lecture Halls and Classrooms are designed as figurative elements connecting at the north and the south with the Academic Quadrangle. The Research building consists of four laboratory wings that are designed around a large open atrium. Offices are located around the perimeter of this atrium to allow easy interaction.  Both buildings are connected by a link atrium featuring a  series of bridges and vertical circulation. A lower floor houses all technical rooms.

 

The Carnegie Mellon Business and Computer Science College is located on a site crossed by one of the main pedestrian promenade (Green Spine) of the Master Plan. This situation called for a unique solution where the Green Spine had to pass through the building. The project has been developed as a rectangular building along the north side of the promenade and a semi-circular building on the south side that creates, in the center, an atrium connected to the Green Spine. Both parts of the building are connected to each other by bridges on the upper levels over the Green Spine, while the ground floor remains open for pedestrian traffic. The rectangular part of the building as the circular one are designed as a series of volumes which house the classrooms, the laboratories and the lecture halls and are separated from each other by outdoor courtyards. This succession of indoor and outdoor spaces creates an environment where teachers and students can interact. Offices are located along the main circulations, except for the administration area which is located around a private courtyard. Special areas like the food court, the library and the lounges are in direct relation with the central atrium. This space, like the Green Spine and the courtyards, is covered at roof level with pergolas. Instead of blocking out all sunlight, these elements of shading play with it differently according to the time of the day.

 

The Georgetown University Campus in Qatar of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service is integrated within the northern side of the HBKU Campus. The adjacent building to the west is the Central Library,  to the southwest the Student Center, to the south lays the Heritage Ruin and a Park with a strong visual and conceptual connection achieved by landscape design and orientation of the building. The major design intent is to break down the monumentally of the overall building to a more human scale to make the student feel comfortable and transmit a “feel like home” atmosphere. The building is a composition of various smaller departments in order to give it a village-like character. All parts of the building are connected to the Common Space which is the core of School of Foreign Service. The entrance is connected by pleasant pedestrian walk-with sculptures to the Green Spine on the south. Landscaped  courtyards and atria spaces interspersed throughout the  complex of the building are intended to bring a tranquility feeling to the day to day activities and promote a sense of intimacy within the spaces that are orientated towards look onto these richly landscaped oases. Special attention is given to the outdoor environment. Water features refreshes and ventilate the spaces around them. A cactus garden is located along the north facade and marks the transition between the desert and formally designed areas. Courtyards compliment adjacent building functions and are used for informal recreation and pleasant transition zones.

The Student Center is a project that provides a home away from home for all HBKU students. Inspired in the traditional souqs, the different buildings are connected by interior alleys and plazas that provide shelter from the exterior environment creating a relaxed and kind atmosphere. Traditional concepts of Islamic architecture such as arcades, courtyards and fountains are integrated in the project. Circulations stimulate movement around the building and informal meeting spaces are created. This way, the design of the courtyards and public spaces enhances the interaction between students and faculty staff. This multi functional building offers diverse services to students in areas such as Health Care, Counseling, Financial Aid and Housing, as well as Recreational Spaces and ambitious integral complementary programs such as Culture and Sports. Projected to support more than 10,000, with 50% students targeted to be in place within the next 4 to 5 years, the main purpose of this urban node is to provide a familiar and playful environment where the students enclosed under this university life and international oriented profile, work together with people from all over the world under a sense of unity in life. The Student Center offers a vibrant environment, promoting social and cultural interaction. After having worked in cultures so different from our own, such as Qatar and Egypt, we can confirm that a humble outlook always allows us to learn from different ways of seeing life, while we discover and learn to appreciate values we take for granted in ourselves. We also discovered the many resemblances between Arab and Mexican architecture, doubtless influenced by the similarity in climate and light to the north of Mexico, though the legacy left us by the Spanish conquest is also evident. Such elements as patios, water, the use of natural light and mystery, all fit naturally. We realize too that though at a governmental level conflicts exist between the West and the Arab world, at a personal level there are no obstacles to establishing an excellent relationship and learning from one another.

               
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