Saturday, September 22, 2007


Design workshop in London

The recent workshop in London centred on a Stage C presentation of the public realm by Martha Schwartz, and a discussion with HLT based on the response from Massar and CI to the Stage C presentation last month. This has clarified many of the outstanding issues relating to the building, and identified the issues remaining to be resolved in respect of the public realm. It has been confirmed that Massar will continue to fund the design work to Stage D from both HLT and MS, and that the implementation phases beyond Stage D will be run under two separate FIDIC contracts.

The Old International Fairground site is essentially divided lengthways into three sections. The easterly is the area on which the discovery centre sits, the central is the main public park area, and the westerly is the area now allocated for the commercial elements. There will be some café/restaurant facilities elsewhere on site, but in principle all the commercial elements are clustered at the western end. At the north-west corner there remains a controllable link to the Opera House estate, and at the south-west there are now assumptions of a link to the Qatari development south of Omayyad Square.

The current proposals for both building and public realm are extremely strong and represent world-class design and specifications. Together they promise a scheme that will represent Syria as a nation able to envisage and deliver to the highest standards. The schemes as a whole is already attracting attention from the international architecture and design community. We hope to see this commitment to design and construction excellence adhered to throughout the implementation process.


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