Direct Commission

High School for
Visual Arts and Design

High School Doha

High School for Visual Arts and Design

Our project for the High School of Visual arts and Design in Doha reactivates the oldest remaining school building in Qatar, the former "Qatar Boys Preparatory School".

This design for a new educational facility retains not only the original programmatic identity of the existing historic school on site but also its inherent qualities and public character. To re-enforce this identity we propose to transform the school’s sun beaten courtyard into a covered exterior space.

By placing the bulk of the new school program within an elevated platform that simultaneously protects and shades the existing building a new columned hall is formed. The historic school is at once preserved and complimented in a single stroke through the addition of an efficient new structure that enhances the existing building without diluting its historical identity.

The resulting peristyle instantly becomes a significant open-air space shaded & screened from unrelenting sun and harsh winds to form a beneficial microclimate for the school building as a whole. The centre of the school becomes liberated, an unencumbered communal space that can accommodate performances, open-air exhibitions, teaching areas or simply the space to play, pray, relax and study quietly in the shade.

The linear typology of the existing building constrained the range of potential programs and spaces to traditional, small-scale classrooms. The open horizontal expanse of the new building liberates the program from the pedagogic straightjacket of the original buildings linear typology through the addition of a large scale, flexible platform.

This contrasting typology enables multiple simultaneous occupations side-by-side with each of their individual requirements accommodated. The juxtapositions of these programs and activities can help foster new, open educational exchanges and collaborations.

A New Motif for Education

Identity - Liberation

Site Plan

Ground Floor Plan

Level 1 Plan

Existing Building - Roof Plan

Level 3 Plan

Level 4 Plan



HSVAD Site Access


Administration Cluster

Academic Classroom Cluster

Public Spaces

Performing Arts Cluster

LRC & Study Cluster

Sports Cluster

Art Cluster

Future Infill Expansion

Landscape Components


Civil engineer: