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‘City of Play’ Project was declared winner of British Council-organsied Unlimited Doha Design Prize 2016

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3 Apr 2016

City of Play project prepared by UK-Qatar team, compromising of Alex Scott-Whitby, Ming Teong, Omer Can Aksoy, Gizem Kahraman and Deena Al Terawi, has won the Unlimited Doha Design Prize 2016, following a week-long residency in Doha from 18 - 26 March.

A total of 21 finalists from UK, Qatar and other GCC states took part in the final stage. Drawing attention from Qatari, regional, and UK architects, the eventwas wrapped up with a presentation of the final proposals at the Doha Fire Station, followed by the selection of the winning team.

‘City of Play’ Project was declared winner of British Council-organsied Unlimited Doha Design Prize 2016

The Unlimited Doha Design Prize was organised by British Council held under the patronage of H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassabint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, in partnership with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.

The announcement followed a gala dinner to felicitate the winners and participants, and applaud the efforts of partners and supporters. With lead facilitator Simon Gathercole, from architecture firm Allies and Morrison, support from Iris Papadatou, from you&me architecture, and Doha Architecture Forum, the participants formed teams and developed ideas for a project based around the theme of 'The Open City'. They focussed on themes 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) amongst others.

Called the City of Play, the winning proposal hasoffered 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, to humanise and revitalise the historic fabric, thus achieving an inclusive, accessible and deliverable proposal,and a sign-post towards the re-birth of living urban heritage in this characterful and much-loved part of Doha.

“We would like to thank H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassabint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and all supporting partners for their efforts in making this residency week ahuge success. We congratulate the winning team for its exceptional work in developing the theme 'The Open City'. The winning team is getting a grant of £15,000 to further develop the project proposal, and will gain further prominence in leading international events,” said Frank Fitzpatrick, Director British Council Qatar at the gala dinner.

“We aredelighted 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. We saw very innovative ideas presented by young architects from the GCC and the UK, and were inspired by their approach to develop the concept of 'The Open City'. We applaud the organisers and supporters, and re-assure our commitment to improve the quality of life in the city of Doha,” pointed Mohamed Ahmed Al-Sayed, Director of Doha Municipality.

“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 Cupas we look at the award as an opportunity to motivate development and build capacities.It also aims to helpthe youth realise their potential and contribute in their countries’ development. Congratulations tothe winning team and I wish the best of luck for all the other teams,” added Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery &Legacy.

“The patronage of H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, and professional organisation by the British Council and its partners led toa successful edition of Unlimited Doha Design Prize over the week-long residency. This platform provided an opportunity to explore and develop new ideas and concepts as well as practice innovative design solutions that will improve the experience of living in the 21st century. 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 participantsare already winners for being on this prestigious stage, and lending a hand to shaping a better future for the city of Doha,”emphasisedMansoor bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Museums.

“Being shortlisted to the final stage was an achievement itself especially since only 21 submissions were chosen forming four teams. Doha Design Prize will change the career graph of the winners and add to their professional portfolio. The fruit of this week-long residency was a magnificent set of creative ideas and exchange of expertise between participants who came from diversified cultures but shared their creative design talents” said Dr Waseem Kotoub, British Council, Head of Arts and Creativity.

“The last 10 days have been an incredible experience. Being in Doha with such a diverse group has meant that the conversations, arguments and ideas have been not only fruitful but inspiring. I’ve had a brilliant time, made some really amazing friends and am very excited to continue working on the “City of Play” with my team and the stakeholders in Doha,” said Ming Teong, member ofScottWhitbyStudioon behalf of the winning team.

In its final stage, Doha Design Prize 2016 competitors consisted of participants from the UK, including Bharat&Jean: Bharat Bhargava and Jean Charles Jeanneau; The Edible Bus Stop: Will Sandy; Suzi Pain; RA Projects: Rashid Ali; Studio Ben Allen: Ben Allen; Alida Bata; and ScottWhitby Studio: Alex Scott-Whitby and Ming Teong. While from the Gulf, shortlisted participants included Abdullah Alessa and Faisal Alzakari from KSA; Gizem Kahraman and Omer Can Aksoy from Qatar; Bricklab: Abdulrahman Gazzaz from KSA; Maysam Al Nasser and Vincent Tse from Bahrain; AH Asociados: Nerea Corral Prados and Francisco Trujillo Baute from Qatar; National Engineering Bureau: Deena Al Terawi from Qatar.

The Unlimited Doha Design Prize is organised by the British Council with its strategic partners -- the Qatar Museums and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, and Ministry of Municipality and Environment. 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.

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