/ Citymakers - Five Days in Msheireb: Making it Happen

What does it take to build a complex, 31-hectare sustainable urban development project?

While still in the process of being completed, Msheireb Downtown Doha is already having a transformational impact. The fourth edition of the Citymakers conference explored the delivery of such a large and complex new piece of city. The session brings together six individuals involved in different aspects of building Msheireb; and a seventh, Anna Strongman of Oxford University Development, who offers her impression on what has taken place. Anna, who was previously a Managing Partner at Argent, is no stranger to big projects. Looking from the outside in, she finds some common threads that projects of such scale need to succeed.

Sebastian Spengler takes us on a journey from when Msheireb's four storey basement was but a hole in the ground to today's streets, now coming into life, now being discovered for the first time by Doha residents. Sebastian's involvement with Msheireb began in 2008 while he was with Adjaye Architects, leading the practice's work on its seven buildings, and then as project executive helping to deliver the whole scheme on the client side.

Msheireb is held together by its public spaces and there was significant investment in their design and delivery, explains two speakers: landscape architect Patrick Baldwin of Burton Studio, who were responsible for the design of much of the public realm, and architect Michel Mossessian presents Baharat Square, the largest public space at the heart of the scheme.

Now based in Los Angeles, Lisa Cholmondely is a Principal at Gensler, which was responsible for a number of buildings across phases 3 and 4. She underscores the vastness of the undertaking, which involved not just designing and building dozens of buildings, but involved 700 flights and generated half a million emails. Our former colleague, the now Dubai-based architect Hina Farooqi and our partner Helen Logan also reflect on their on-the-ground experience on the project's first phase.