UNStudio developed an Architectural Branding Manual that sets out an extensive set of design guidelines, architectural details and material outlines to assure the spatial quality and identity of the new Doha metro. Currently the first phase is completed with three metro lines (red, green and gold) that weave together 37 metro stations.
Most transport in Doha is done by car. The introduction of the most advanced and fastest driverless metro systems in the world is an attempt by the Qatar Rail Architecture Department to create an efficient and reliable alternative to private transportation.
The Architectural Branding Manual comprises a large catalogue of architectural 'branding' elements which form a flexible architectural system that enables the efficient design and construction of the different station types. The design strategy works on three scales; network identity, line identity and station identity.
“Through the production of a design manual and with the use of adaptive parametric design, it has been possible to create a design with many variants, yet one which maintains a coherent identity throughout all of the stations. In this way, we can combine local contextual differences within an overall identity and parametrically adapt physical factors such as wayfinding, daylight penetration, passenger flows, constructive elements etc. in a complex but extremely disciplined system.”
Ben van Berkel, Founder UNStudio
UNStudio opted for vaulted spaces that represent a bridge between the region’s historic architecture and innovative future. The spatial configuration draws inspiration from the arch in traditional architecture, the lightness of the dhow sail, and the tensile profiles of nomadic tents.
The materialization is envisioned as a contrast between a modest monolithic exterior and a rich expressive interior. Integrated light lines amplify the experience and function as natural wayfinding.
The architects developed a system of interconnected triangular base forms that can adapt and transform to incorporate programmatic functions and to connect interior spaces with exterior urban infrastructure.