Qatar National Convention Centre
by Arata Isozaki

| 15 comments
 

Gigantic tree-like columns support the overhanging roof of the Qatar National Convention Centre by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, captured in these new shots by Portuguese photographer Nelson Garrido.

Qatar National Convention Centre by Arata Isozaki

The building was designed by Arata Isozaki to reference the Sidrat al-Muntaha, a holy Islamic tree that is believed to symbolise the end of the seventh heaven.

Qatar National Convention Centre by Arata Isozaki

A pair of sprawling steel columns create the illusion of two trees in front of the large rectangular glass facade, supporting a roof canopy that extends out to offer shelter to a public plaza in front of the building.

Qatar National Convention Centre by Arata Isozaki

"The tree is a beacon of learning and comfort in the desert and a haven for poets and scholars who gathered beneath its branches to share knowledge," said the architects.

Qatar National Convention Centre by Arata Isozaki

Located on the 1000-hectare campus of the Qatar Foundation in Doha, the Qatar National Convention Centre opened to the public in December 2011. It is the largest exhibition centre in the Middle East and can accommodate up to 7000 people in its three main halls.

Qatar National Convention Centre by Arata Isozaki

Visitors enter the building through a large reception hall that spans both the full width and height of the building. Steel-clad staircases beyond lead to floors both above and below ground, and are flanked by a wall of colourful tessellated shapes.

Qatar National Convention Centre by Arata Isozaki

Other spaces include a 4000-seat conference hall, a 2300-seat theatre, nine exhibition halls and a series of 52 meetings rooms that can be used for various events and activities.

Qatar National Convention Centre by Arata Isozaki

Japanese architect Arata Isozaki was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal in 1986. His best-known works include the Oita Prefectural Library and Kamioka Town Hall, while more recent projects include the Maranello library in Italy and a modular office block in Spain. See more architecture by Arata Isozaki »

Qatar National Convention Centre by Arata Isozaki

See more photography by Nelson Garrido on Dezeen, or on the photographer's website.

Read on for more information from the design team:


Qatar National Convention Centre

QNCC was designed by the renowned Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. Officially opened on 4 December 2011, the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) is one of the most sophisticated convention and exhibition centres built to date, boasting iconic design bearing the 'Sidra Tree'.

Qatar National Convention Centre by Arata Isozaki

The spectacular façade resembles two intertwined trees reaching up to support the exterior canopy. The tree is a beacon of learning and comfort in the desert and a haven for poets and scholars who gathered beneath its branches to share knowledge.

Qatar National Convention Centre by Arata Isozaki

QNCC was conceived with a focus on sustainability. The Centre was successfully built according to U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) gold certification standards. The building is designed to operate efficiently with innovations such as water conservation and energy-efficient fixtures.

QNCC was designed by the renowned Japanese architect Arata Isozaki.

A member of the Qatar Foundation, QNCC features a conference hall of 4,000-seat theatre style, a 2,300-seat theatre, three auditoria and a total of 52 flexible meetings rooms to accommodate a wide range of events. It also houses 40,000 square metres of exhibition space over nine halls, and is adaptable to seat 10,000 for a conference or banquet. The Centre's stunning architecture and cutting edge facilities are ideal for hosting local, regional and international conventions and exhibitions, gala events, theatrical productions and banquet functions.

  • http://michaelwigle.com Michael Wigle

    I’m interested in the design process that finalised the form of those columns. Did structure, weight, cost or whim inform the final design? Was an analysis done before or after? I’d love to see the variations.

    • MAC

      I read a book a fair few years ago that outlined the design process – ‘Morphogenesis of Flux Structure’ by Toyo Ito, Arata Isozaki, Mutsuro Sasaki.

  • Rolf

    This is uniquely beautiful. One is enough though.

  • ArcAlign

    Epic.

  • Bplusforeffort

    The connection from trees to ceiling could’ve been smoother.

  • Kora Sevier

    So what is it that the giant spider represents? So much for a beacon of comfort.

  • Airborne

    This is terrible. Those support columns look like intestines or branching sausages. There is no elegance in them.

  • papou

    Arata Isozaki is a great architect, even if we are not obliged to like all his designs. This one is at least quite original.

  • Daedalus

    The tree is the symbol of the Qatar foundation founded by the Sheik and Sheika of Qatar, who have most likely commissioned this particular project.

    The tree works is used here on a symbolic and structural level since it’s also holding the big canopy. Clever device, Isozaki is a great architect and has done tons of good work in Qatar.

    • midow

      Confused by this point – the tree as a symbol. The design was previously submitted in the Firenze Train Station competition in 2002 and more or less represents the optimisation of structure. Hmm.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.anziulewicz Chuck Anziulewicz

    I don’t think that the support columns look like intestines or sausages. The first thing I thought of were tree branches. I think it gives the structure a fascinating organic aspect. I rather like it! As for the giant spiders… not so much!

  • alex

    I’m not an engineer, but dare I question the need for the ‘tree’ structure in the first place?

    It’s a considerable cantilever but I’m sure it could be achieved without supporting columns/trees of any kind (similar to stadia roofs).

    The morphogenic-parametric form is very well executed but it looks like a waste of resources for something that is merely contextual decoration. I’d like to see an entire structure help up by this method to prove its structural possibilities.

  • Chris MacDonald

    Only when you see the furniture do you understand the sheer scale of the building. I really love the juxtaposition between the amorphous structural supports and the rectilinear glazing/facade/roof.

    Whilst I’m usually an advocate of empty buildings in architectural photography, I feel spaces this big need filling to give them a sense of purpose.

    • John

      Trust me, everything is out of scale in Qatar.