Qatar Navigation Tower (Commercial Offices Building) by Marwan Zgheib
2012 - 2013, Silver A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award Winner
The idea behind the project was to envision a building with two main elevations rather than four, working together with the plot orientation and communicating with the sun through the day, acquiring maximum daylight while avoiding direct sunrays and their resultant heat.
No constraints were put on the architectural conception but the client brief was to create a prominent skyscraper targeted to top executives seeking comfort and luxury, with approximately 50,000sqm of flexible, intricate yet practical office spaces, with the top 5,000sqm of the building as the company headquarters. While showcasing the client’s power and leadership in the market, the building also had to respond to a harsh environmental climate. The resulting Qatar Navigation Tower concept in Doha exemplifies a sensibility that melds architecture and sculpture in an exuberant building. This overall design appealed to the client’s intentions and visions of building a unique tower while showcasing a postmodern silhouette and intriguing internal spaces. Providing a striking modern image, the simple slick volume, with sliced edges, contours an elegant silhouette and stands monumentally, recalling the glory of monolithic sculptures. Calibrated to the actual changing sun angles, the horizontal shades at the south and north elevations act like bridges between the vast east and west elevations mimicking the company international maritime role between the east and west of the globe.
Design Challenges
The main challenge was to create a flexible, intricate yet practical approach to an office tower that responds to a harsh environmental climate while showcasing an iconic structure that asserts the clients reflection, power and leadership in the market.
Production Technology
The overall organization of the building is straightforward, utilitarian, and clearly expressed. The column-free internal office spaces are conceived to adopt any layout requirement with the high speed interactive vertical transportation servicing the building to a flexible floor plates, with areas ranging from 1000-1200 sqm, thus simplifying leasability, office partitioning, and daily performance methodology. The uninterrupted by any vertical shafts or other permanent fixtures, large, light and open generic floor spaces of undetermined interiors are serviced by the double-sided center core in the middle of the building. Electric and telecommunication cables are fed to the office through a raised floor system, the false modular floor providing flexible cabling arrangement and smooth maintenance and modifications. For greater working comfort in such expanse of space, natural daylight penetration to the workplace, as well as views to the sea and the city skyline, are optimized by utilizing the total transparency of the non-reflective glass.
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