As much as concrete forest shrouds more area, people will realize the significance of open areas, especially green space. Perhaps, that’s how we ended up growing plants in our terraces, balconies, and even bathrooms. The more humans are confined in ac rooms, the more they comprehend the objective of oxygen. This interpretation might have inspired AECOM (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Operations, and Management) to create a breathing space within the education city campus in Qatar. Public open space is as substantial as institutional, religious, government, and residential spaces. An open public space is the only area that connects people by initiating social activities. It also helps improve city life and advances its liveability. An excellent public space will develop the environmental factors in its neighboring area. Even it enhances physical and psychological advantages among its population. For this, public space should be well-designed and well-functional. Let us discuss how AECOM has contributed its best to the public of Qatar.
Ideology, concept, and purpose | Green Lung
Doha is one of the cities that is facing rapid urban growth. As a result of sudden urbanism and an increase in population incites Qatar to accelerate sustainable development in the fast-growing city of Doha for the welfare of the public. Oxygen park, the name itself defines the purpose and significance of this space. It is located on the boundary of an education city covering an area of 13.000 sq.m. This space is available for both students and the common public.
Concepts are the soul of any design; without them, the design loses its rationality. Since the space has been planned in the desert region, AECOM sensibly encourages the native features as their primary concepts. Wind–eroded rock and the formation of fluid lands are their inspiration. Let’s further discuss how they implemented these elements into their design. The preeminent purpose of this concept is to boost passive cooling through its design and to accommodate various sports activities within the park.
Space, design, and structure
Oxygen park incorporates folly squares, a water plaza, an equestrian track, underground pitching for team sports, walking tracks, running tracks, seating areas, an amphitheater, other recreational spaces for social activities, and garden areas. The running trails are designed in a way that is embedded with the computer-modeled topography of the site that creates the dynamic looping tracks. This topography is shaped in the site to inflate the passive cooling, and it acts as a shade over the walking track.
As mentioned, the shaded walkways are situated underneath the undulating topography and between recreational areas. The walkways are created with the cooling tunnel system. To provide natural ventilation for partially enclosed tunnels and covered walkway AECOM followed the traditional Arabian wind towers method where the available breeze will be channeled to the passages through carved wind ducts huddled0 between the gardens.
In total, there are four folly squares which are air-conditioned pavilions. It can be used as a multipurpose space, a social gathering area, and a relaxation point. Each square has a sound system and a video-projecting screen that can be used as a classroom also. This reinforced concrete structure is again embedded into the topography. Its roof is covered with greens to reduce heat gain and advances thermal mass.
AECOM implemented the wind–eroded rock concept in the main structure of the park which covers the walking track. The C-shaped roof covers one side of the track. The C-shaped reinforced concrete ribs bear on the limestone foundation below the park. Natural stone cladding has been used on the walls and soffit to achieve a monolithic appearance.
The attractive water features like the water cascade and water plaza not only provide a refreshing experience for the users but also lifts the microclimate by reducing solar heat gain and helping in psychological factors as well as by sustaining the mental peace of users that is considered the ultimate purpose of public open space.
AECOM precisely designed the complete park in buff color materials which is considered sympathetic to Qatar’s regional color. This blonde theme helps reduce the heat island effect and minimize glare.
Lighting plays a vital role in captivating people’s attention, especially in the public space at nighttimes. The Lighting system is abundant in this park, from spotlights to large poles illuminate the entire area sufficiently at night time. The balloon-shaped lights that are installed ubiquitously throughout the park make the space visible from afar and throw a touch of a magical setting.
Sustainable movement | Green Lung
The preliminary goal of AECOM is to design this space with sustainable traits. Oxygen park embodies soakaways embedded with soft grass areas to store stormwater from the seasonal rainfall that seems to increase the ability of soil to drain water. The sporting activity areas have been rigged with a smart irrigation system to control water consumption.
Oxygen park is a live example of realizing how influential a public open space is. It acts as an overpass for humans to connect with nature. AECOM design shows us to design an area with maximum user comfort while maintaining and respecting the native characteristics and ideologies.
Maria Erman (2017). Oxygen park Doha helps people get back to nature, by AECOM. https://www.designboom.com/architecture/oxygen-park-doha-qatar-aecom-11-29-2017/
Unknown. Oxygen park. https://archello.com/project/oxygen-park
Chanel Besson (2017). A green lung in Qatar’s desert landscape – Oxygen park by AECOM. (Last updated: October 10, 2017). https://prolandscaper.co.za/2017/10/case-study-green-lung-qatars-desert-landscape-oxygen-park-aecom/
Puskar Pande (2018). Sustainable buildings: Oxygen park, Education city, Doha. (last updated: August 9, 2018). https://greencleanguide.com/sustainable-buildings-oxygen-park-education-city-doha/
Madani Matadian (2022). Oxygen park by AECOM provides coolness at Qatar education city campus. (Last updated: April 7, 2022). https://anabata.com/architecture=oxygen-park-by-aecom-provides-coolness-at-qatar-education-city-campus