The masterplan of the Valley City – Qatar (VCQ) emerged from an in-depth understanding of the existing urban morphology and social structure of Qatari cities, responding to the growing demand for affordable small-size rental accommodation, while respecting architectural guidelines of traditional Qatari and Islamic cities.
Traditionally, Islamic cities were characterized by a chaotic urban morphology as a result of Islamic laws of succession and their mechanisms of subdivision. Properties were subject to successive subdivisions until minimum but functional parts were arrived at: the basic ‘workable’ nucleus unit. Successive iterations of subdivision over the course of decades gave a fractal character to these cities. When taken over a long period of time span – time of development of a city –, this simple function produced at later stages a complex morphology as is know in Chaos Theory.
The VCQ recaptures the simplicity of this original urban fabric by using Chaos Theory as foundation and mathematical tool, and working with a system that creates a series of well defined spaces or “urban fingers” running parallel to each other and creating maximum interface between public and private spaces by maximizing their line of exposure.
The proposed urban grid is built perpendicular to the hot desert wind trajectory, allowing the wind to hit the city and initiate a circulating movement throughout the urban structure in a sequence of chaotic curves obeying the Heighway dragon curve law. The path generated by the wind turbulences leads to the development of a linear city with a catalytic green valley crossing it between residential fingers, thus creating a strong sense of place for the community and allowing for a healthy and climate friendly pedestrian realm.
The resulting urban plan allows for expansion and growth of the city with equal opportunities towards the desert and the sea, through the creation of a marina and a commercial harbor with water transport services leading to the center of Doha.
Established with sustainable and green standards, the masterplan maximizes the use of natural elements such as wind, water and sun, and minimizes financial building costs, while offering all the benefits of an energy-saving city.
Located on a 3 million-sqm desert plot, between the historic cities of Doha and Al Khor, the VCQ is envisioned as a modern low-cost city designed to attract middle-income Qatari citizens and the growing population of expatriates, in an environment where work, leisure and residence are strongly bound.
The Valley City - Qatar master plan has won several international architecture awards:
- Arabian Business Achievements Awards Qatar 2013: Best Architectural Project
- 2013 International Architecture Awards
- 2013 Iconic Awards: Winner of the “Concept - Urban Planning” category
- 2013 LEAF Awards: Winner of the “Urban Design” category
- 2013 AZ Awards for Design Excellence: Winner of the “Unrealized Concepts” category
- 2012-2013 A' Design Awards: Winner of the “Urban Planning & Urban Design” category
- 2013 MIPIM Architectural Review Future Project Awards: Winner of the “Masterplanning & Regeneration” category
- 2012 World Architecture Festival: Finalist of the “Future projects: Masterplanning” category
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