It was not long ago that Doha was only a convenient transfer point on long international flights. But as years pass by, travelers get more and more incentive to stop and stay in Qatar for a while and get acquainted with the creations of glorious architects.

Doha Tower

The round facade of this 46-storey skyscraper in West-Bay is decorated by the exquisite lace of mashrabiya — much like traditional carved wooden latticework, which used to protect houses from the parching sunrays. And in this building of steel and cement, designed by Pulitzer Prize winner Jean Nouvel, such a “punched” surface protects the building from overheat. Definitely, it is not only functionality and sustainability reasons, that the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat named in 2012 the Tower of Spirits the best high rise building in the Middle East and Africa and the best in the world. The experts were captivated by the artistic solution of Nouvel, who managed to reveal brilliantly Arab hue in contemporary architectural forms.

Museum of Islamic Art (MIA)

The celebrated Pulitzer Prize winner, the creator of the Louvre ‘s glass pyramid Ieoh Ming Pei initiated the creation of the treasury, to host all the diverse collections of paintings, books, manuscripts, weapons, coins, glass, textiles, ceramics, assembled by Al Thani, the ruling dynasty of Qatar, when he was already 81 years old. The central atrium, 60 meters high, over-arched with an octangular steel dome, is enclosed by spacious halls, reopened this autumn after the reconstruction. The new exposition is on display in the Hall of South-Eastern Asia, as well as the grandiose exhibition “Baghdad: Eye’s Delight”, which was replenished by the exhibits contributed by 22 world-famous museums, including the Louvre, Metropolitan and Vatican Museums.

Qatar National Convention Centre

This long building with an all-glass facade is «entwisted» by the trunks and branches of concrete trees. Like atlantes, they support the flat roof of the marquise and penetrate even inside, through transparent walls. This exciting solution of the Pulitzer Prize winner Arata Isozaki was inspired by the sacred Islamic tree Sidrat al-Muntaha. The architect says “The tree is a symbol of a comfortable safe place in the desert, paradise for poets and scholars, who met under its crown to share wisdom”. The capacity of the building is up to 10,000 visitors. The spacious hall features the sculpture Maman, the artwork of Louise Bourgeois.

National Museum of Qatar

It is an undoubtable architectural masterpiece, reminding of crystals “roses of desert”, popular in Qatar peninsular, the second creation of Jean Nouvel in this country. The construction of the building, comprising curvaceous discs of different sizes intersecting at different angles, took as long as 10 years. This “bunching of roses” conceals inside the Palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Qassim Al Thani and, in general, signifies the history of the country from ancient times to our days. Here are archeological findings and versatile artifacts, and cultural accomplishments in poetry, music, cinema and local cuisine.

Qatar National Library

The building with glass panels as if inserted into snow-white lozenge-shaped frames, looks like a flat crystal. It is the creation of Rem Koolhaas, a Pulitzer Prize winner, the designer of the famous «reticulate monster», The Seattle Central Library. And here is Qatar. The building is divided into three wings: one wing houses the national library, the other the university library and the third the public library, open for all visitors, including children. The collection of old manuscripts is 6 meters below the ground level but can be well observed from the higher glass floors and passes; it highlights the symbolic link between the past and future. The library promotes a number of innovations, involving interactive panels and machine book sorting. Visitors can read books both at the tables or making themselves comfortable on poufs. At the moment, Koolhaas is working over the project of the Automobile Museum. Part of its exhibits can be seen at the exposition of the National Museum of Qatar.

Fairmont Hotel and Raffles Hotel & Residences

These two symmetric Qatar Towers house hotels and residences. The area is shared by Fairmont Hotel и Raffles Hotel & Residences, as they prepare for opening and invite guests to book accommodations for the New Year and Christmas. The building is located in «the city of future» Lusail City, erected in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The unusual form of a broken circle features in part Qatar national coat of arms with its two crossed curved shamshirs. The interiors are decorated in the most luxurious Oriental palace style: high arches, rich textiles, sumptuously decorated with ornaments floors and walls, abundance of gold and marble…

Photo: press-office,