The Qatar Foundation
The Qatar Foundation (QF) is a non-profit organization made up of more than 50 entities working in education, research, and community development. Supported by partnerships with leading international institutions, its mission is built on initiatives that address the most pressing challenges, creating global opportunities, and empowering people to shape the present and future.
World class specialist spaces
The Qatar Foundation Headquarters is a purpose built 12 storey building situated within the heart of Education City in Doha and consisting of high profile offices and a variety of presentation, meeting and circulation spaces. Astad approached Recursive to design and develop five unique and specialised areas within the building which represented the VIP and public facing spaces within the multi floored facility.
The visitor centre (Level 09)
The Multi Purpose Hall (Level 11)
The HH Boardroom (Level 11)
HQ Auditorium (Level 01)
SSC Auditorium (Level 01)
The facilities needed to be world class and encompass many different requirements, due to the many global visitors to the facility.
Making the designs fit the infrastucture
Several major challenges became apparent during the design process. The first was that we had to work with all existing containment sizing and routing which had already been planned prior to our involvement. This was challenging as it has not been designed to cope the amount of cabling needed, so we had to be creative to get signals from A to B and make lots of compromises to achieve the end result. Power circuit allowances and positions of outlets could also not be changed, meaning we had to very carefully consider the loads and positioning of equipment in each and every location. In short we had one arm tied behind our back every step of the way.
The development of a unique on screen application
Each space required unique thinking and bespoke approaches. For Her Royal Highnesses (HH) Boardroom on the 11th floor, the Recursive team designed and developed a unique on screen application to allow control over content sharing and conferencing across 27 motorised in desk touch monitors. This unique digital on screen display allowed users to drag the interface around the screen and provide them with multiple options over which audio and video source to see on their local display, the ability to send and share content in real time from their local PC to other users, the ability to control the interpretation language being received and the ability to control their local microphone.
The Level 01/02 Auditorium in the SSC building had to be designed to operate as both a flexible presentation and meeting space with two modes. Mode one was a traditional auditorium for lectures and presentations with retractable raked seating and mode two as a flat floor round table boardroom style setup for meetings, with the seating retracted into the storage area at the rear of the space. The audio audiovisual fit-out needed to support both of the needs with commonality between components shared across both uses wherever possible. Due to the complexities of the simultaneous interpretation systems required across multiple spaces, the team had to devise a unique digital audio transmission system which would interface with the native Bosch DCN arrangement in order to distribute signals around the building. The centralised translation facility also meant many interpreters were remote from the spaces in which the native speakers were based. This entailed devising a complex camera based system which would relay live video from the many spaces across the building to allow the lips of the speakers to be clearly seen on video monitors within the translation booths.