Doha’s urban fabric is rapidly developing around the state-of-the-art metro infrastructure, designed to enable a new generation of travellers to move quickly and easily within all other means of transportation. An interconnected public transport network represents a unique opportunity for social and economic development for the City and the entire Nation.
One Works was invited and won the international design competition for the new Doha Transportation Education Centre (TEC) with a design that will rise between Lusail Boulevard and the Al Qassar Metro Station. As well as a source of education, the new centre will also provide exhibition space and recreational facility. The combination of these three major functions into one harmonious whole, will interpret the vision of Qatar Rail while enhancing the environmental factors and characteristics of the area, to represent the project’s real innovative approach. The Transportation Education Centre is designed to create a direct relationship with citizens and visitors, making them a pro-active and vibrant component to the museum complex.
The exhibition is spread through the Transportation Education Centre Park, an open air public space which surrounds the main building. The park will not only host the outdoor exposition, with a part dedicated to mass transportation that over time have accompanied the nation’s development, but will also provide a public place tightly integrated in the overall public realm network. The space will be experienced and transited by citizens following avenues and footpaths suitable for the most diverse means of personal transport – from bicycles to rollerblades and skateboards. From the TEC park grounds, visitors will also invited to take in the panorama and admire the major transport infrastructures surrounding the centre: from the subway to the highway.
The Transportation Education Center Park is also the roofing element for the main indoor exhibition area. Here, along with other transportation vehicles exhibited, visitors will engage themselves with a range of new experiences through virtual reality programs disseminated throughout the exhibition spaces.
The indoor exhibition unfolds in the horseshoe area overlooking a courtyard outside and is marked by 24 areas delimited by visible lines – such as the hours of the day – to emphasize the indissoluble relationship between time and transport. As a result, the controlled penetration of natural sunlight, will dynamically animate the internal space throughout the day.
It is the use of different natural elements that represents the essential feature giving the architectural design a strong identity. As a result, the Transportation Education Centre could not be not be conceived in any other place in the world, because the water, air and earth elements are so site specific. The force and the characteristics they assume are integral elements for the Education Centre’s architectural language and functioning.
The main building is unmistakably inspired by its majestic conical shape of desert forts. It hosts all the services, offices, theatre and roof top restaurant, taking advantage of the extreme local climatic conditions by using the powerful air current to activate air conditioning through a mechanical ventilation system.
Finally, forms, materials, and motifs have been selected and designed to emphasize, in every detail, the deep legacy between the Islamic culture and the Qatar’s natural environment.