Jaidah Square: A break from Qatar’s vertical architecture
A tour of Jaidah Square with Richard Ingall, assisting the project management team, reveals what sets the building apart.
Adding to the list of state-of-the-art buildings, Qatar now has Jaidah Square in its completion stage. Situated next to HSBC on the Airport Road, the seven-floor black building enjoys a prime location in downtown Doha. “It’s very close to the airport, which is a big attraction and next door to the building is the interchange for Qatar rail (scheduled for construction),” said Richard Ingall, senior MEP engineer at White Young, who is currently assisting the project management and building operations team of Jaidah Square.
A tour of the building with Ingall and meeting with Nicholas Young, head of health, safety and building management at Jaidah Square, further unveiled the building’s features beyond its unique façade.
There are some very distinctive buildings in West Bay, but in downtown Doha, one does not see many. Jaidah Square’s design features blends traditional with the modern. “The inspiration behind the design features is Arabic Mashrabiya,” Young told The Edge. The pattern that runs across the building is reminiscent of the Islamic art, while the glass façade lends a modern feel to the building. With its slope-like structure, Jaidah Squares breaks away from the vertical structure of most modern buildings in Doha.
4000sqm - Office space provided on each level of Jaidah Square.
Jaidah Square is designed to incorporate sustainability elements. “We have reduced energy usage as far as possible with the use of LED lighting, energy efficient glass and intelligent building management systems,” said Young. The elevators self generate electricity and the building’s design allows ample sunlight. Natural sunlight was earlier considered for generating energy as well. “The owner wanted to be a leader in Qatar and show that buildings should use the solar energy,” said Ingall. However, the space on the roof did not allow the installation of enough solar panels to be useful.
While the building provides more than 650 parking spaces in its three-level underground parking, it has not been tenanted to businesses which could potentially lead to traffic congestion. “We turned some tenants away, potentially because they wanted to use the ground floor as the supermarket,” said Ingall, “Even though we were turning down good revenue, it was for the benefit of the community.” For the physically challenged visitors, the building supports wheelchair access to most parts.
Tenanted on shell and core basis, Jaidah Square provides a high level of customisation from ceilings to floor. The finished floor of the lobbies is 15 inches above the rest of the surface. “Within the raised flooring, all the cable management is taken care of,” reasoned Ingall.
Similarly, the building provides flexibility in terms of the office space. With 4000 m2 office space on each floor, seven to eight office zones were originally intended for every floor. However, the demand for smaller offices led the project management team to make a few changes. “Instead of eight, we are splitting it into 12 to 16, depending on what the tenants want,” said Ingall. The office spaces can fall between 250 and 12,000 m2.
“The inspiration behind the design features is Arabic Mashrabiya,” -Nicholas Young, Jaidah Square.
Cautious of the fire outbreaks in some of the recently constructed buildings in Qatar, Jaidah Square features advanced fire security system. With six exit stairways, the building is equipped with fire location detectors to guide the fire fighters. Adding to the sprinkler system, the air ventilation tunnels help the smoke to settle down, thereby increasing the visibility.
The parking areas are equipped with carbon monoxide (CO) sensors, which constantly regulate its level. Once the amount of CO rises above safe levels due to more cars parked, the fans on the roof speed up to get rid of the concentration of exhaust fumes. This also guards against heat-generated fires.
One of the elevators opens in an Italian restaurant housed on the first floor of Jaidah Square. The building has a cafeteria for the employees. A gymnasium and children’s daycare make Jaidah Square all the more attractive for tenants. The control room on the ground floor monitors CCTV cameras, air-conditioning and fire command system, and the IT support system has the capacity to serve the needs of the entire building.
The building opened its doors for tenancy a year ago and 60 clients have already closed the deals with some already operational, while others are still moving in. Providing more details of the occupants from communications, financial, medical and commercial sector, Ingall told us that the building has attracted a great deal of “interest from some very high-end tenants.”