Doha: The winner of the Unlimited Doha Design Prize 2016 is the UK-Qatar team of Alex Scott-Whitby, Ming Teong, Omer Can Aksoy, Gizem Kahraman and Deena Al Terawi.
Their project titled ‘City of Play’ was picked recently by a live international jury panel at the Doha Fire Station over final proposals submitted by three other teams.
Following a week-long residency in Doha, a total of 21 finalists - 10 from the UK, five from Qatar and six from other GCC countries - took part in the final stage of the prize, which is held under the patronage of Chairperson of Qatar Museums HE Shaikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, in partnership with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and organised by the British Council.
The participants formed teams and developed ideas around the theme of 'The Open City'. They focussed on concepts such as mobility, and movement through space and accessibility.
The participants focussed their research on the areas of Al Doha Al Jadeeda and Al Ghanem Street.
To provide context and insight into the areas, they visited Msheireb Downtown Doha, a 31-hectare site which has been redeveloped, Msheireb Museums and Msheireb Arts Centre (MAC) among others.
Commenting on the occasion, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) Hassan Al Thawadi said, "We are proud to support this initiative alongside Qatar Museums, British Council and other partners.
This initiative promotes spirit of creativity and encourages innovative practical solutions in raising the quality of life.
This comes in line with our vision for the 2022 FIFA World Cup as we look at the award as an opportunity to motivate development and build capacities.
It also aims to help the youth realise their potential and contribute in their countries’ development.
For his part, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Museums Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud said, "The patronage of H.E. Shaikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, and professional organisation by the British Council and its partners led to a successful edition of Unlimited Doha Design Prize.
One of our main goals is to nurture emerging talents by creating ideal conditions for creativity and new talent. The projects submitted exceeded our expectations, and we congratulate the winning team.
Needless to say that all participants are already winners for being on this prestigious stage, and lending a hand to shaping a better future for the city of Doha."
The Unlimited Doha Design Prize is supported by Doha Architecture Forum, Foster & Partners, Makower Architects, Qatar University – College of Engineering, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Qatar Society of Engineers, and University College London in Qatar.
The winning proposal offered a profound insight into the past and future of urban communities in Doha. Founded on a vision for health, education and family life in the heart of the city, a chain of street transformations in the form of new play spaces was proposed by the proposal.
This was meant to humanise and revitalise living urban heritage in this characterful and much-loved part of Doha.
"We would like to thank HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani and all supporting partners for their efforts in making this residency week a huge success. We congratulate the winning team for their exceptional work in developing the theme 'The Open City'.
The winning team will get a grant of GBP 15,000 to further develop the project proposal," said British Council Qatar Director Frank Fitzpatrick.
Doha Municipality Director Mohamed Ahmed Al-Sayed said, "We are delighted to support the Unlimited Doha Design Prize, and the exceptional creative ideas put forward by the participants.
“Such initiatives are in line with our vision to boost urban development in a prosperous modern city that is committed to clean and safe environment.