Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, established Msheireb Properties with a mandate to address a gap in the architectural history of Qatar and rediscover a unique form of Qatari urban development. Msheireb Properties aims to understand and implement how the best of the past, and modern innovative technologies and thinking, can blend to create a new architectural language in Qatar. Msheireb Downtown is both, the rebirth of a neighbourhood and the reawakening of an architectural heritage that is in danger of extinction. The principles of progress and tradition, freedom and responsibility, new and old cultures, and innovation and stability, form the bedrock of the project.
Three years of intensive research was invested in ensuring that the blueprint of Msheireb Downtown Doha integrated the true spirit and aesthetics of Qatari architecture with modern, highly functional and sustainable development. Dubbed the ‘Seven Steps’, this new architectural language was created to counteract the depletion of Qatar’s unique cultural and architectural heritage.
A key objective of the Msheireb project is to re-energise the core of the city and create a hub of activity, where people return once again to live, work, shop and spend time with family and friends. The design of the urban space draws on traditional techniques for dealing with climate, and emphasises close-knit pedestrian districts where all amenities are within close walking distance.
Msheireb Properties launched an international competition in 2008 to select the best architects to design a world-class urban landscape for this seminal project. The challenge was to find those that could interpret in modern terms, a vernacular that could bridge the gap between the Doha of the past and the Doha of tomorrow. The ultimate winners were selected from a shortlist of 10 firms out of 94 by an eminent jury of academics and architects.