Located in the West Bay area of Doha, the sites for the substations presented the difficulty of integrating highly functional infrastructure buildings sensitively into a design landscape of high rise towers and residential areas. The necessity for the substations to co-exist homogenously with the surrounding environment resulted in KEO’s winning design.
The shells of the buildings disguise their purpose by creating an image of traditional sailing dhows scattered within a sea of towers. This is achieved by using abstract aspects of the dhow, particularly the sails, as a repeated design element. This is especially suitable in the way that the sail was previously used to capture the energy of the wind, but is now used to conceal a modern form of energy.
Opaque colored glass suspended in front of the structure is used in an artistic and sculptured manner so that beams of light are scattered and reflected off the glazed planes creating a play of light, shade and color which adds aesthetic value to the buildings and their surroundings. This treatment is utilized more extensively in the smaller sub-stations in the commercial high rise zone, so that the walls can be used as a back drop for laser light shows. It is also used to reflect images of their surroundings in an abstract and artistic form, thus becoming more of a dynamic sculptured wall changing its color and its reflection of images as it is viewed from different angles.