Creating a sense of belonging

Location      Doha, Qatar
Total GFA    6,500 sq.m – 1600 at prayer
Status          Unbuilt
Client           Private Engineering Office | ©GAJ

Interior Design
Landscape Design

Principle Architect

Mouaz Abouzaid

One of the biggest design challenges the Al Sulaymi Oasis presents is to create a sense of belonging within the vastness of the desert landscape. As we try to establish intimacy within the structure in contrast to its whereabouts in the open desert, this challenge turns into a goal to merge these fundamentally opposing components. The small details of the Al Sulaymi Oasis and paths leading up to it, best show how we cultivate this relationship between structure and place. Inspiration and a metaphor for the Al Sulaymi Oasis can be seen through the Al Markh branches, traditionally used to form green boundaries allowing a sense of enclosure, and a breaking of the desert’s huge scale. Additionally, the sequence of paths leading up to the oasis structure reflect the movement away from Doha’s urban fabric, and into the tranquil natural landscape of sand. The sand dune formations seen as visitors approach the oasis, provide not only a lineal access to the site, but a chance to ponder on the nature of the eventual destination as well. As the landscape evolves the axial route rises up from the desert floor. 

The objective of this relaxing transition from urban to desert, is to create an ever-growing sense of consciousness for the natural surroundings as visitors reaches the Al Sulaymi Oasis. Arriving at the structure’s central house, this sense of transition occurs once again through the feeling of arrival, safety, and protection the oasis evokes. When inside, visitors’ sense of connection to the landscape is bought into sharp focus via 360-degree vistas of the exquisite desert panorama.