New York-based SOMA Architects announced today that Shaza Kempinski, the 180-room Doha hotel project, has broken ground and commenced foundation work.
It is a significant milestone for a project whose design is reflective—in both a cultural and practical sense—of the transformative Doha hub where it is rising. Located between the souks, Doha's traditional commercial district, and a more highly developed area, the hotel site is on a thoroughfare opposite the I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art.
The hotel is being constructed by developer Domopan in partnership with Kempinski Hotels as an alcohol-free, Sharia-compliant destination. Its 180 rooms will rise across 15 floors in addition to the ground floor. Additionally, the building will hold three basements, a ballroom, two restaurants, a spa, business center and cigar lounge. The design will culminate with a celebrity chef-run restaurant and outdoor pool terrace on the roof.
"We are thrilled to see work on Shaza Kempinski reach this important construction milestone," said SOMA founder Michel Abboud. "The hotel will serve guests looking for the utmost in luxury and innovative design and upon completion it will be a key element in an area undergoing incredible transformation. We are proud to add our distinctive design to this emerging skyline."
Shaza Kempinski's design features a unique outer glass façade that gives it a regional identity, with its culturally charged motif. An Islamic-inspired Arabesque pattern was silkscreened onto the glass, and then manipulated using Grasshopper parametric design software to create a translucent mashrabiya. Its density on the glass changes depending on where more or less light needs to be allowed into the structure.
The perfectly smooth glass façade was designed with Doha's desert climate in mind. Temperatures in the Qatari capital can pass 115 degrees F, and sand storms can blow in unexpectedly, battering structures and reducing visibility. Shaza Kempinski's smooth surface, in additional to being culturally referential, affords easy cleaning—a must in this climate.
The Shaza Kempinski hotel in Doha will join a highly acclaimed roster of other Kempinski hotels in locations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
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