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HOK designs a retail and leisure icon


HOK has unveiled designs for Marina Mall, an icon prime retail and leisure facility located in Lusail on the east coast of Qatar, approximately 15 kilometres north of Doha city centre.

HOK’s designs are inspired by the natural forms created when water and land meet. Five interconnected retail islands, sculptural in shape, will be enclosed by a simple transparent membrane to create a light, sleek interior.

The warm rich palette of materials, sculptural white fibre-reinforced polymer shell and blue tinted glazing enclose abstracted spaces featuring water, rock and planting, designed to flow into one another as if formed by the ebb and flow of the neighbouring gulf, blurring the distinction between interior and exterior space.

Sculptural pods embedded in the surrounding landscape are designed to animate the public realm between the main complex and the adjacent marina, providing additional retail and leisure facilities.

The sculptural and complex form of Marina Mall was made possible by HOK’s innovative use of parametrics; the use of scripting, digital simulation and modelling which enables designers to explore, generate and control new and complex architectural shapes. Combining parametric design techniques and their expertise as one of the world’s leading adopters of Building Information Modelling (BIM), the design team at HOK were able to create a fully coordinated, complex architectural shape in a very short timeframe.

The use of custom optimised scripts not only offered efficiencies in speed, but also improved cost effectiveness across the project, allowing the team to create an inspirational and iconic design within strict cost and construction parameters.

Barry Hughes, Vice President, HOK, London says: “The use of parametric design was critical in enabling the HOK team to produce the complex design and shape of Marina Mall. By mixing natural forms with traditional architecture typologies, we’re trying to make a technological as well as imaginative step forward in place creation.”

The mall, which totals 72,000 square metres of leasable area, includes three levels, with an additional 3,500 square metre hypermarket at basement level.

The complex includes cinemas, restaurants with terraced dining overlooking the marina, and spa facilities. It is located within the Lusail development, a new 37 square kilometre waterfront development. Subdivided into 19 integrated and diverse mixed-use districts, Lusail is intended to create a vibrant, community-oriented lifestyle offering the best in modern urban living.