The Manateq Headquarter is set at the very core of a forthcoming major new urban development in Ras Bufontas, Doha, Qatar. To the new economic zones, the Manateq HQ aims to play three distinctive roles: it is to be an emblem (the icon), an ideal (the benchmark), and a catalyst (the machine to generate sales).
The massing of the project is intuitive and straightforward in its response to the urban, programmatic, and architectural contexts. It is positioned along the east-west axis, strategically edging the planned urban piazza and fronting the sea. What starts off as a monolith undergoes a series of articulate folds, cuts, and pleats to fulfill its functions in a simple yet intriguing shape. The resulting building will be perceived as a tilting volume slowly rising up from the ground, wrapping around its core, and culminating with a platform that serenely commands views of the urban fabric unfolding around it with the sea ahead. Its grounded volume remains very open at entrance level, with generous overhangs around it to shade both the pedestrians and the spaces inside.
Properly demarcated entrances address the drop-off areas to the south and west and the public piazza to the north. The main entrance lobby spans the entire width and height of the project offering a key visual connection to the upper stories and bisecting it with its sequence of landscaped internal courtyards to which it directly links. The height of the naturally sky-lit courtyards is sequentially reduced so that each courtyard is a full floor shorter/ higher than the next. What is created, by means of these courtyards which house the project’s semi-public functions and exhibition areas, is a strong sense of place and a clear orientation. Their distinct volumes and natural light control draw on Islamic architecture principles of space, proportions and light.
Inserted in-between the courtyards are the two visibly demarcated main vertical circulation cores leading up to, and serving the various departmental units of the headquarters. A parallel layer of color-coded signage complements the legibility of this straightforward functional structure.
Individual cells, offices, managers’ wings, and meeting rooms are all naturally lit and enjoy clear views over the landscaped surroundings or the serene internal courtyards. Office spaces are complemented with generous communal areas, gathering spaces, and breakout zones strategically positioned along the vertical connectors and in-between the departmental clusters.
As for the exterior, the project has a two-fold skin system. A first, inner layer of double concrete walls and low-E glazing ensures optimal visual, lighting, thermal, and acoustic comfort levels throughout its interior. A second, adaptive outer system of perforated vertical louvers spaced from the inner walls by means of access catwalks, wraps around the entire project protecting it from excess light rays and glare.
architecture: nabil gholam architects
3D images: nabil gholam architects