THE PEARL QATAR
This ante project for a Yacht Club represents the refurbishment of the 1st 2nd floor and terrace of a building occupying the plot nº 18 at the Pearl Marina in Doha. The building was originally designed as a part of a commercial centre and that is why all stairs and main lifts are directly related to the public areas without any vestibule.
The first problem to be solved consists in finding a new solution for the access to the 1st floor incorporating a reception area with an access control and a better vision from the Marina pier. That is why we suggest reversing the way of the main stair and lift, trasnforming the existing public toilets into a hall on each plant. Thanks to this alteration we can give a new access to all plants through vestibules organizing the distribution of circulations to all different spaces composing the building program.
The new stair and lift orientation allows an easy access to the roof terrace which has no defined use, public access and shaded areas by now but a magnificent view on the marina and Doha bay. That is why we suggest a 17 m diameter circular hole on the roof structure incorporating a 2,5 m wide helicoidal ramp suspended with a tensile structure and with a 8% slope connecting the 1st,2nd and terrace levels simultaneously. This space will allow the light to penetrate into the Yacht Club and will be a sort of diorama space with the exhibition of all kind of objects related to the sea activity as an initiating promenade from the basement to the roof. The new terrace will incorporate a pool and a reflecting pond surprising visitors when discovering in a single glance with no interruption of any railing the far vision of Doha buildings and the terrace.
The ramp space is covered by a geodesic dome and reflecting glass. Projected shadows on the interior surfaces during the day will create the effect of a solar clock and astrolabe over walls and paving. The access to the terrace and the perimeter promenade is covered by a pergola matching the rest of roofs rising from bar and external restaurant areas.
The ramp also organizes the service circulations from kitchen to both restaurant areas avoiding any crossing with principal circulations.
The height of the roof covering the first floor allows a mezzanine space containing meeting rooms and children games areas and activities. It is partially open to the restaurant area. This mezzanine space is also related to the service areas and the rest of the 2nd floor program.
The YC also incorporates 20 bedrooms of about 30 m² located along the gallery surrounding a fountain square. They are divided into two levels with 10 rooms on each level. The amount of rooms could be extended to 40 if all the gallery were used. Evacuation stairs must be reconsidered depending on the final number of bedrooms.
The external composition of the dome takes its inspiration form the effect of a falling sphere over a liquid.
The structural reference comes from a ceramic pot exhibited at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha
The vision of the dome and its coronation will become a visual reference from any part of the Marina . We are conscientious about the role of a reference centre that this building must have in relation with the rest of the public spaces around the Marina and also in relation with other YC that could be developed along the shore. That is why we insist on the ambient quality of any space we proposed.
The previous conceptual description regards the transformation possibilities of the building on plot nº 18 based on using a set of architectonic elements –ramp and dome- obtaining a unique building among others existing at the Marina which offers a higher comfort level in relation to the existing one aboard customers’ yachts.
It could be possible, however, to develop an alternative project with a similar distribution to the one exposed in the initial project plans but without the ramp and the dome. The inner space decoration could be based on the use of materials creating a period atmosphere reminding the image of a British Yacht Club.
It is true that the space occupied by the ramp and dome, if they are not built, could be used for different purposes and this is an important simplification for the execution of works. That is the reason why we present in this annex an alternative estimation of costs and fees based on this idea.