QATAR FACULTY OF ISLAMIC STUDIES, DOHA 100 DESIGN FILE
QATAR FACULT Y OF ISLAMIC STUDIES, DOHA
MANGERA YVARS ARCHITECTS
An extraordinary mosque with twin minarets soaring
into the sky is the centrepiece of the new Qatar
Faculty of Islamic Studies complex in Doha. Inside
it is white and cavernous, with a ceiling adorned
with Qur’anic verses and small lights reminiscent of
twinkling stars. Islamic calligraphy is inscribed on
almost every element of the mosque’s surface, from
roofs to ceramic tiles and glass windows.
The mosque rests on five structural pillars to
symbolise the five pillars of Islam. The pillars are
decorated with verses, and water flows underneath
from an outer garden. The vast space accommodates
The faculty complex is a Qatar Foundation project
that took three years to build and opened in March.
Designed by London and Barcelona-based Mangera
Yvars Architects, it won the prize for religious
buildings at this year’s World Architecture Awards.
Daylight infuses the campus, creating a calm
ambience achieved through a neutral palette of whites
representing notions of serenity and purity. Water
is used throughout the building with four streams
flowing through its exterior and interior.
The four-storey building houses six academic
programmes, as well as a library and classrooms.
There is a male prayer room on the first floor, which
also has a library and a large gilded mehrab in a
Qur’an verse-lined alcove. The female gallery room
has a separate seating area that is sectioned off from
the main prayer room by a high wall that separates
the two genders.
The judges at the World Architecture Awards praised
the faculty as representing ‘a cultural breakthrough
where client and architect have produced a
remarkable building,’ according to the Qatar
Ameena Ahmadi, technical director at the
foundation’s capital projects directorate, added: ‘This
is a great achievement for Qatar Foundation and
Qatar as a whole.’