NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- New York-based SOMA Architects announced today that Shaza Doha, its 180-room Doha hotel project, has broken ground and commenced foundation work.
It is a significant milestone for a project whose design is reflective—in both a cultural and practical sense—of the transformative Doha hub where it is rising. Located between the souks, Doha's traditional commercial district, and a more highly developed area, the hotel site is on a thoroughfare opposite the I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art.
The hotel is being constructed as an alcohol-free, Sharia-compliant destination. Its 180 rooms will rise across 15 floors in addition to the ground floor. Additionally, the building will hold three basements, a ballroom, two restaurants, a spa, business center and cigar lounge. The design will culminate with a celebrity chef-run restaurant and outdoor pool terrace on the roof.
"We are thrilled to see work on Shaza Doha reach this important construction milestone," said SOMA founder Michel Abboud. "The hotel will serve guests looking for the utmost in luxury and innovative design and upon completion it will be a key element in an area undergoing incredible transformation. We are proud to add our distinctive design to this emerging skyline."
Shaza Doha's design features a unique outer glass facade that gives it a regional identity, with its culturally charged motif. An Islamic-inspired Arabesque pattern was silkscreened onto the glass, and then manipulated using Grasshopper parametric design software to create a translucent mashrabiya. Its density on the glass changes depending on where more or less light needs to be allowed into the structure.
The perfectly smooth glass façade was designed with Doha's desert climate in mind. Temperatures in the Qatari capital can pass 115 degrees F, and sand storms can blow in unexpectedly, battering structures and reducing visibility. Shaza Doha's smooth surface, in additional to being culturally referential, affords easy cleaning—a must in this climate.
The Shaza Doha will join a highly acclaimed roster of other Shaza Hotels properties, including Shaza Al Madina (Al Madinah Al Munwarrah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and the soon-to-open Shaza Amman (end of 2015). Shaza Hotels under advanced development include Shaza Jeddah, Shaza Riyadh, Shaza Makkah, Shaza Muscat, Shaza Bahrain and Shaza Salalah, with all set to open between 2015 and 2017.
International architecture firm SOMA, headquartered in New York, was founded in 2004 by Michel Abboud. With its focus on incorporating craft, digital technologies and environmental responsibility, the firm's designs and work have attracted critical acclaim for their boundary pushing nature. SOMA's work is rising around the world today—in New York, Dubai, Lebanon and other international markets—with remarkable offerings of luxury hotel, condominium and mixed-use developments that underscore the firm's cutting edge appeal.