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Doha Tower


2016 Fall

instr. Maryann Thompson

Core studio project. 

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Doha Tower

The challenge of building a tower is match by its weather and cultural identity. With only a brief urban history, Doha skyscrapers take the iconography from a mix of relic collected from India, Iran, Egypt, Syria, etc. This proposal reconciles the need for a climatic strategy and a critical respond to the rapid urbanization of the city.

The use of parametric and computational tools enforce a technocratic, comprehensive project that accommodate our need for the “function” of architecture; Solar capture and structural optimization result in the tapered tower form. On one hand, architecture as a result of logical investigation and decision. 

On the other hand, This project use the image of technocratic architecture to reveal the absurdity of International Style. If Post-Modernism was a respond to the purging from Modernist, this tower embraces and re-appropriates Orientalism as a self-reassuring resistance for non-Western cultures. Iconism of the traditional Qatari garment, the Abaya, soars the skyline of tinted glass and golden motifs. The blackness of the fabric is represented by solar panel on the South facade. A play of anthropomorphism is achieved with the solid concrete shell contrasting a skeletal steel frame on the interior. Standing as an “invisible” obelisk, the tower is a speculative narrative to create iconic building in the Qatari skyline.


Staircase Core

Elevator Core


Black Box




The main structure of the tower is a C-shape concrete shell with hollow life cores. It transfer all vertical load on the perimeter of the floor plan with floor frame hang from the shell structure with cables.  Placement of elevator core correspond to the optimization result. A series of pre-cast concrete diaphragm braced the c-shape concrete shell. It also act as a thermal mass; insulated on the south face and open up on the north face for softer light.  

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