Revived in the last decade as the social heart of Doha, Qatar, Souq Waqif, a historic shopping hub, is a must-see highlight of the city. There has been a souq on this site for centuries; the Bedu would bring their sheep, goats and wool here to trade, and the entire market area has been skillfully redeveloped to look like a 19th-century souq, with mud-rendered shops, exposed timber beams and some beautifully restored original Qatari buildings.
To provide parking for large numbers of visitors, an underground parking facility, located opposite the Msheireb, Downtown Doha, Qatar, became necessary. The design of the car park offered architects some extra space above-ground to facilitate place making, a collaborative process that shapes the public realm in order to maximise shared value. With this is mind, Dragana Lutic Djokic, Landscape Architect at Parsons Qatar, contacted Consent LLC (Terraforce Licensees in the UAE) in 2012, requesting an Amphitheatre design. Specifically, the engineers at Parsons were in search of a product that can be used both for retaining and seating purposes.
Consent subsequently proposed an arena design with the Terraforce 4×4 Multi Step Block, a light, dry-stack concrete unit developed in Cape Town, South Africa, used for constructing low terrace walls, stairs and seating arrangements. Aimed at providing efficient and economical steps in conjunction with the original Terraforce retaining blocks, in this case the L16, they have became very popular (in South Africa and abroad) not only for stairway access, but comfortable, practical stair and seating arrangements at leisure amenities and school sports facilities.
Initially Djokic specified another pre-cast system for the proposed Amphitheater design, but after a presentation by Consent on the Terraforce 4×4 Multi Step Block and L16 retaining block and their colour options, the design was re-rendered with Terraforce blocks.
The final design, completed by Fred Laker of Terrasafe, Terraforce’s international retaining wall design service, was approved by Parsons, and in October 2013, Palmera Agriculture Business L.L.C put in the order for the 4×4 Multi Step and L16 blocks. Approximately 5100 4×4 Multi Step blocks and 4757 L16 blocks were used, and LED lighting installed at intervals for nighttime ambiance. The amphitheatre was completed 2014.
Client: Private Engineering Office (PEO)
Project Consultant: JAIN Sustainable Engineering Solutions
Design Consultant: Parsons, Qatar
Main Contractor: UrbaCon trading and contracting
Sub Contractor: Palmera Agriculture Business L.L.C/
Wall design: Terrasafe
Block Supplier: Consent LLC