Doha College’s designs revealed

Jestico + Whiles has revealed its latest design for Doha College's planned new state-of-the-art campus in Qatar

It is due to submit a Qatari planning application for the project in early2014. TheDC-1 planning application, equivalent to a RIBA Stage2 Concept Design, is for a new state-of-the-art campus and follows a competitive design selection process won by the practice in December2011.

Doha College is one of the oldest British curriculum schools in Qatar providing education for over 1600 students between the ages of 3 and 18. It is a not-for-profit school sponsored by the British Embassy and is open to all nationalities that wish to study a British curriculum; currently over 58 different nationalities are represented throughout the college. This combination of strong British heritage and growing internationalism played an important role in the development of the competition brief issued to five invited architectural practices in summer 2011. Teams were asked to provide a sustainable, 21st century learning environment, which captured the unique blend of an English curriculum delivered in an international setting, whilst also fitting into the existing cultural context.

The new campus will be located on a 61,000m site in the Abu Hamour district and will be able to accommodate over 2,000 pupils. In response to Doha College’s strong sense of community, which has been carefully fostered over the past 30 years, Jestico + Whiles’ design provides a single, integrated school for ages 3-18, with a common entrance and dedicated wings for the primary and secondary elements of the school, all united under a single roof structure. It will provide students with additional teaching facilities, a new sports centre and drop-off facility to manage vehicle movements on site rather than in the surrounding residential area.

Despite the challenging climatic conditions, the architects have worked closely with Buro Happold to apply the principles of sustainability by exploiting passive environmental measures as well as innovative techniques including a shading roof structure, solar chimneys and earth tubes. This sustainable design approach enables the building to act as a learning resource in its own right, embracing the Doha College students’ enthusiasm for protecting their environment.

The project is being funded by the College through a combination of bank loans and an ambitious fundraising programme.

Jestico + Whiles’ experience in the education sector, which includes over 22 completed schools in the UK and several international projects, will be supported by a renowned UK design team – Buro Happold, landscape architects Fabrik and education specialist Dr Sharon Wright – to deliver the new facilities, expected to open in late 2016. The client team is also supported by Davis Langdon AECOM in Qatar.

Jude Harris, associate director at Jestico + Whiles, said: “It’s very exciting to be working with a leading international private school on a scheme that has ambitions to become a benchmark for education facilities in the Middle East, providing us with the opportunity to apply the best principles of British school design on the international stage.”

HeinzRichardson, director at Jestico+Whiles,said:“The practice is delighted to have been selected through an international design competition to deliver this new ambitious campus forDoha College. Thenewbuildingaimsto encourageboth thestudents andthelocalcommunitytoappreciate innovativedesignsolutionsandreinforcetheir enthusiasmfor asustainable developmentofDoha.”

Mark Leppard, Principal at Doha College, said: “The College has now secured a site and is excited to be entering the next phase of development in designing a new twenty first century campus for Doha College which will enable us to continue delivering a world-class British curriculum education within Qatar. Jestico+Whiles was selected for its extensive schools experience within the UK and its ability to get to the heart of our brief and work with us in developing a new school, tailored to our needs.”