Doha’s M7 design and cultural hub celebrates creativity in Qatar
M7 in Doha – a new hub for fashion, design and tech entrepreneurship – sees architects John McAslan + Partners bring together environmentally conscious design, dramatic minimalism and vernacular architecture
Doha’s newest cultural destination, M7 design and cultural hub, opens this week. The venue, designed by London-based John McAslan + Partners, is a flagship in the Qatari capital’s new, ambitious and currently in development 31-hectare Msheireb mixed-use neighbourhood. The project, which aims to highlight creativity in Qatar’s fashion and design industry, has been central to this scheme – its minimalist architecture standing serene and confident at the heart of this brand new part of town.
Architect John McAslan and his team drew on the region’s vernacular architecture and the needs around its specific climatic conditions for their design, aiming to create a building that is in tune with its surroundings and modern, sustainable architecture and technology. A generous atrium becomes the building’s core space, surrounded by grand processional stairs that zigzag upwards in an elegant spatial dance. The top is lit by a large-scale opening, artfully shaded by an intricate screen that helps filter the heat. Off it, offices, exhibition halls and multifunctional areas unfold, with a restaurant housed at the very top.
M7: new addition to Doha’s Msheireb district
‘In essence,’ says McAslan, ‘we have striven to design a building that radiates a sense of shared discovery. Taking as its inspiration the traditional Qatari courtyard house, the building quality of presence and internal atmosphere is conceived as a massive stone block from which spaces and courtyards are carved.’ He continues, ‘This light-dappled environment, reminiscent of the neighbouring historic Souk Waqif, offers a vibrant marketplace of the arts in which Islamic and modern architecture come together.’
Doha’s Msheireb district has been designed as a ‘walkable city’, composed of a tight-knit complex of residential architecture and office design, dotted with museums, a mosque, and shopping arcades. Among this rich urban mix, M7 is a key piece of the puzzle, sitting by the central Al Baraha square, and opposite the new Mandarin Oriental hotel, also designed by John McAslan + Partners.
The impressive M7 design and cultural hub will celebrate its soft launch this week with a Dior show, and is then set to host a Christian Dior retrospective (6 November 2021 – 31 March 2022), as part of the Qatar Creates programme. §