1939106274-3abp1410054The British Council and Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), on behalf of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture, are inviting Qatari architects to be part of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture by entering the Old Doha Prize – a week long design residency and competition in Doha from 17 November to 24 November 2013.

The Old Doha Prize is organised in association with the Doha Architecture Centre and Msheireb Properties in Qatar as well as the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) and The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL in the UK.

Tim Makower, Lead Facilitator for the Old Doha Prize and principal of Makower Architects in Doha and London, said:

The idea for the Old Doha Prize is the coming together of two things both of which are important for the future of architecture and urbanism in Qatar. First, it is the opportunity to raise awareness about the character-rich fabric of the old city which could become the foundation of a ‘Qatari Renaissance’. Second, it is a chance to celebrate and explore how young design talent from Qatar and the UK can work together, and push the boundaries of what it means to respond to the identity of a place and explore how ‘heritage’ can be a springboard into the future as well as being a deep root in the past.’

The winning team will be awarded the Old Doha Prize and a grant of £15,000. The grant will provide the team with the opportunity and resource to implement ideas explored as part of the design residency. This might include the implementation of the project in the form of an exhibition, research project, publication, installation, public intervention or film.

Angela Brady, RIBA President, said:

The Old Doha Prize provides UK and Qatar based architects and designers a unique opportunity to work together in the spirit of collaboration, experimentation and international learning to help develop sustainable solutions for the long term regeneration of Old Doha. The rapid development and growth of Qatar coupled with its desire to embrace its ancient Islamic ties and incorporate its unique culture into its surroundings, making it a fascinating area for architecture.’

The Old Doha Prize will encourage architects to develop compelling and contemporary ideas in response to Doha’s historic city centre. The brief will focus specifically on the neighbourhoods of Al Asmakh and Najada in the heart of Old Doha, and will be founded on the principle of ‘Living Heritage’. This is the idea that heritage is not something set in history; rather something that continually evolves whilst remaining deeply rooted in the past.

The Old Doha Prize is part of Qatar UK 2013′s year-long cultural exchange programme between Qatar and the UK, which aims to strengthen bilateral relations by creating lasting partnerships between institutions and individuals.

For further information about Qatar UK 2013, visit Qatar UK 2013′s website.

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How to apply

The ‘Old Doha Prize’ is open to architects with more than two years’ experience. Applicants must have the full support and endorsement of their architecture practice.

Interested architects should submit an Expression of Interest in the format of an A4 PDF portfolio no longer than 10 pages. The submission must include the following mandatory information:

  1. Up to five examples of key projects (realised or speculative) that you feel represent your approach.
  2. CV of the architect(s) attending.
  3. A short statement (in English or Arabic) that will briefly outline why you are applying to take part in the Old Doha Prize and your perspective on the issue of balancing cultural heritage with contemporary design and development. (Max 500 words)

Submissions should be in PDF format and not to exceed 2MB in size. These should be emailed to [email protected] by 4 pm (GMT) on Thursday 30 August 2013 in the UK and 4 pm (GMT) on Sunday 15 September 2013 in Qatar.

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For more information, visit The British Council’s website or check out Marhaba’s post Enroll for Design Residency and Competition.