The Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) is situated in ‘Education City,’ not far from the skyscrapers of the modern business centre in Doha, the capital of the oil-rich state of Qatar. The remarkable design icon is located on the enormous campus among faculties of some of the world’s best universities, such as Weill Cornell, Texas A&M, and Georgetown, as well as research and technology institutes like the Sidra Medical and Research Center, and Qatar Science & Technology Park. This is the home of Qatar’s ambitious future plans, including the knowledge-based economy: here, oil and gas must make way for science and education; for innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.
The architectural firm Arata Isozaki & Associates was given of a total area of 200.000 square metres to use. The firm produced three buildings: the convention centre, the exhibition centre, and the multi-storey car park. The striking four-storey main building has a truly spectacular entrance. The two 250-meter long, curved steel Sidra tree structures supporting the roof are incredible eye-catchers. But that is not all. The Sidra tree was not chosen by chance. The tree is an icon in the Qatari culture. It has its origins as a beacon in the desert and is used by the Bedouin as a meeting place and shelter.