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Qatar Preparatory School by Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck designs school to "revitalise creative production in Qatar"

French designer Philippe Starck has revealed his design for the Qatar Preparatory School at an exhibition of upcoming buildings in Qatar during the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Commissioned by Qatar Museums, the Qatar Preparatory School is set to be the first vocational school focused on education for the creative industries in the country.

"Qatar Preparatory School will be the first and only vocational school for the creative industries in the country," said Starck's studio.

"This educational institution is strategically planned to revitalize creative production in Qatar and develop a skilled and inspired workforce to drive the new creative economy."

Qatar Preparatory School by Philippe Starck
Philippe Starck is designing the Qatar Preparatory School

Set to be built alongside the B Ring Road to the southwest of central Doha, the school will occupy the former Qatar Boys Preparatory School, which was built in 1962.

Starck's concept design will see the original 2,300-square-metre, U-shaped school building retained and adapted. The existing concrete walls will be exposed, while a large canopy supported on timber masts will cover the central courtyard.

Strack's plan will feature a series of "3D-printed clay natural air conditioning units", which will be added to the existing buildings. These will consist of 3D-printed chimneys connected to hollow clay screens that will circulate cool air.

"Throughout the building, 3D-printed clay walls, ventilation chimneys, and intricately patterned colonnades provide low-tech climatisation systems while showcasing advanced architectural prefabrication techniques," said the studio.

School in Doha designed by Philippe Starck
The school will have a tented courtyard and be surrounded by workshops

The renders show an additional arched colonnade built across the open end of the courtyard, which has arched openings mirroring the school. It also has a series of columns of various shapes that will be 3D printed.

Surrounding the main building there will be a "village of workshops" that will create additional spaces for vocational activities.

The whole school will be set in a 32,000-square-metre site that will be landscaped into parkland.

"As a tribute to Qatar vernacular urbanism, a public park and village of workshops, studios, and recreational pavilions surrounds the primary building, welcoming visitors to engage with the school and its surrounding green areas," added the studio.

The school was presented alongside a museum designed by Chilean practice Elemental, Dutch studio OMA and Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron that is currently under development in the country at the Building a Creative Nation exhibition during the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Also on display was a blocky children's museum designed by Dutch practice UNStudio.

Building a Creative Nation takes place at Palazzo Franchetti during the Venice Architecture Biennale, which takes place from 20 May to 26 November 2023. See Dezeen Events Guide for all the latest information you need to know to attend the event, as well as a list of other architecture and design events taking place around the world.

More images

Qatar Preparatory School by Philippe Starck
Qatar Preparatory School by Philippe Starck
Air-conditioning screen detail
Qatar Preparatory School by Philippe Starck
Chimney detail