The Qatar Foundation Education City is an exciting and ambitious project spearheading by Sheika Mozah, the second wife of the Emir. It will be the keystone for future educational projects in the Middle East and other parts of the world. The Education City will be composed of various unique buildings designed by architects selected from around the world. At the moment most of them have yet to be built.
The Master plan, designed by Arata Isosaki, is a harmonious blend of architecture and exterior spaces. The main feature 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 (430,550 sqft) and Computer Science College, the George Town School of Foreign Service (40,000 sqft) as well as the Student Centre (346,404.17 sqft). The design of the courtyards and public spaces enhances the interaction between students and faculty staff. Circulations stimulate movement around the building and informal meeting spaces are created.Traditional concepts of Islamic architecture such as arcades, courtyards and fountains are integrated in the project. 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 part 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.