OMA’s Qatar National Library Officially Opened

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Partners in charge.- Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon, Iyad Alsaka. Associate in charge.- Kunle Adeyemi
Design Team
Design Team SD, DD and CD.- Sebastian Appl, Laura Baird, Andrea Bertassi, Helen Billson, Benito Branco,Nils Christa, Daniel Colvard, Tom Coronato, Anita Ernodi, Clarisa Garcia-Fresco, Dina Ge, Mauricio Gonzales, Bermy H o, Vincent Kersten, Keigo Kobayashi, Dimitri Koubatis, Jang Hwan Lee, Oliver Luetjeus, Bimal Mendis, Joaquin Millan Villamuelas, Barbara Modolo, David Nam, Sebastian Nau, Rocio Paz Chavez, Francesca Portesine, Teo Quintana, Miriam Roure Parera, Peter Richardson, Silvia Sandor, Tjeerd van de Sandt, Louise Sullivan, Anatoly Travin, Yibo Xu
Executive team and on site team
Vincent Kersten, Gary Owen.
Sub-Consultants.- ARUP. Acoustics.- DHV. Façade.- ABT. Cost analyst.- David Langdon. Interior, Curtains, Landscape.- Inside Outside. Construction Document Phase.- CCDI
Design development.- 2008 - 2010 Start of construction.- September 2012 Completion.- September 2017 Occupancy.- October 2017
Qatar Foundation
Qatar Education City
Collections.- 21,000 m² Reading space.- 3,500 m². Exhibition space.- 1,500 m² Administration and offices.- 3,000 m². Children’s Library.- 800 m². Restaurant.- 600 m². Special Event Area.- 600 m²
Gross floor area.- 45,000 m². Net floor area.- 32,000 m². Gross volume.- 304,704 m³
Capacity of displaying more than one million books The Library currently hosts a little more than 800,000 volumes
There are many subject areas in humanities, social sciences and sciences included in the main collection, distributed among three tiers. The Library collection mainly comprises Arabic and English language texts, but also provides a wide selection of books in other languages. These include French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu, Tagalog, Sinhala, Mulayam, Bengali, Nepali, as well as Russian, Korean, and Chinese.
A custom-designed book circulation system, including an automatic book sorter and self-check-in/out machines.- 20 self-check-out stations and 8 check-in (return) stations with 7 onsite, and one drive-through outside the building.- The People Mover System, making the collection on the terraces accessible to everyone.- Wide range of computer systems, tablets, interactive screens and audio/visual equipment.- Assistive technology area including 16 computer stations with adjustable leveling, equipped with cutting-edge hardware and software technologies.- Fully equipped preservation library.- Auditorium with raised podium and translation booths.- Multipurpose event space, fully equipped, with scenography technology for seminars, exhibitions, music concerts and performances.
Children’s and Teens Library Facts
Children’s Library. Designed for children age 0-12.- 100,000 print books in its collection, majority of the collection is English and Arabic language.- Access to many electronic resources, including e-books, e-magazines, and databases specifically designed for children.--- Teens section. Serves teenagers age 13-17.- More than 30,000 books, as well as magazines, computer labs, graphic novels, interactive learning tools and events.- School curriculum and college preparation textbooks, for subjects like ACT and SAT preparations.- Six gaming kiosks with consoles such as PS4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox.
Datos de la Biblioteca del Patrimonio
More than 4,000 manuscripts.- Space to display approximately 300 items, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Islamic world and Qatar.- Medical, pharmacological, and astronomical texts, along with famous works produced by Ibn Sinā and al-Rāzī.- One of the oldest manuscripts in the collection is a set of four parts of al-Bukhari’s Al-Sahih, on parchment, which dates back to the 6th Century H./12th Century A.D., written in Spain.- More than 26,000 printed books, 4,000 manuscripts, 70,000 photographs, and 1,200 maps, as well as numerous atlases, globes, traveler’s instruments and extensive archival materials.- Contains the Ptolemy map entitled “Sexta Asiae Tabula”, printed in Rome in 1478. This is the first map to mention Qatar, printed in Latin as Catara.
Library updates and Statistics: November 7, 2017 – February 26, 2018
More than 45,000 new members have registered.- The library has seen more than 134, 000 visitors.- More than 252,000 books have been checked out, which includes 158,125 children books and 94,829 books from the main collection.

OMA. Office for Metropolitan Architecture

Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is an international practice operating within the traditional boundaries of architecture and urbanism. AMO, a research and design studio, applies architectural thinking to domains beyond. OMA is led by eight partners – Rem Koolhaas, Reinier de Graaf, Ellen van Loon, Shohei Shigematsu, Iyad Alsaka, Chris van Duijn, Jason Long, and Managing Partner-Architect David Gianotten – and maintains offices in Rotterdam, New York, Hong Kong, Doha, and Australia. OMA-designed buildings currently under construction are the renovation of Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) in Berlin, The Factory in Manchester, Hangzhou Prism, the CMG Times Center in Shenzhen and the Simone Veil Bridge in Bordeaux.

OMA’s completed projects include Taipei Performing Arts Centre (2022), Audrey Irmas Pavilion in Los Angeles (2020), Norra Tornen in Stockholm (2020), Axel Springer Campus in Berlin (2020), MEETT Toulouse Exhibition and Convention Centre (2020), Galleria in Gwanggyo (2020), WA Museum Boola Bardip (2020), nhow RAI Hotel in Amsterdam (2020), a new building for Brighton College (2020), and Potato Head Studios in Bali (2020). Earlier buildings include Fondazione Prada in Milan (2018), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow (2015), De Rotterdam (2013), CCTV Headquarters in Beijing (2012), Casa da Música in Porto (2005), and the Seattle Central Library (2004).

AMO often works in parallel with OMA's clients to fertilize architecture with intelligence from this array of disciplines. This is the case with Prada: AMO's research into identity, in-store technology, and new possibilities of content-production in fashion helped generate OMA's architectural designs for new Prada epicenter stores in New York and Los Angeles. In 2004, AMO was commissioned by the European Union to study its visual communication, and designed a colored "barcode" flag, combining the flags of all member states, which was used during the Austrian presidency of the EU. AMO has worked with Universal Studios, Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, Heineken, Ikea, Condé Nast, Harvard University and the Hermitage. It has produced Countryside: The Future, a research exhibited at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; exhibitions at the Venice Architecture Biennale, including Public Works (2012), Cronocaos (2010), and The Gulf (2006); and for Fondazione Prada, including When Attitudes Become Form (2012) and Serial and Portable Classics (2015). AMO, with Harvard University, was responsible for the research and curation of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale and its publication Elements. Other notable projects are Roadmap 2050, a plan for a Europe-wide renewable energy grid; Project Japan, a 720-page book on the Metabolism architecture movement (Taschen, 2010); and the educational program of Strelka Institute in Moscow.


Rem Koolhaas was born in Rotterdam in 1944. He began his career as a journalist, working for the Haagse Post, and as a set-designer in the Netherlands and Hollywood. He beganHe frequented the Architectural Association School in London and studied with Oswald Mathias Ungers at Cornell University. In 1978, he wrote Delirious New York: a retroactive manifesto for Manhattan, which has become a classic of contemporary architectural theory. In 1975 – together with Elia and Zoe Zenghelis and Madelon Vriesendorp – he founded OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture).

The most important works by Koolhaas and OMA, from its foundation until the mid-1990s, include the Netherlands Dance Theatre at The Hague, the Nexus Housing at Fukuoka in Japan, the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, the Grand Palais of Euralille and Lille, the Villa dall’Ava, the Très Grande Bibliothèque, the Jussieu library in Paris, the ZKM in Karlsruhe and the Seattle Public Library.

Together with Koolhaas’s reflections on contemporary society, these buildings appear in his second book, S,M,L,XL (1995), a volume of 1376 pages written as though it were a “novel about architecture”. Published in collaboration with the Canadian graphic designer, Bruce Mau, the book contains essays, manifestos, cartoons and travel diaries.

In 2005, with Mark Wigley and Ole Bouman, he was the founder to the prestigious Volume magazine, the result of a collaboration with Archis (Amsterdam), AMO and C-lab (Columbia University NY).

His built work includes the Qatar National Library and the Qatar Foundation Headquarters (2018), Fondation Galeries Lafayette in Paris (2018), Fondazione Prada in Milan (2015/2018), Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow (2015), the headquarters for China Central Television (CCTV) in Beijing (2012), Casa da Musica in Porto (2005), Seattle Central Library (2004), and the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin (2003). Current projects include the Taipei Performing Arts Centre, a new building for Axel Springer in Berlin, and the Factory in Manchester.

Koolhaas directed the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale and is a professor at Harvard University, where he directs The Project on the City, a research programme on changes in urban conditions around the world. This programme has conducted research on the delta of the Pearl River in China (entitled Great Leap Forward) and on consumer society (The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping). Taschen Verlag has published the results. Now is preparing a major exhibition for the Guggenheim museum to open in 2019 entitled Countryside: Future of the World.

Among the awards he has won in recent years, we mention here the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize (2000), the Praemium Imperiale (2003), the Royal Gold Medal (2004) and the Mies Van Der Rohe prize (2005). In 2008, Time mentioned him among the 100 most influential people of the planet.

Ellen van Loon

Ellen van Loonjoined OMA in 1998 and became Partner in 2002. She has led award-winning building projects that combine sophisticated design with precise execution. Recently completed projects led by Ellen include the shop-in-shops for Jacquemus at Galeries Lafayette and Selfridges (2022), the temporary showroom in Doha and store on Avenue de Montaigne in Paris for Tiffany & Co. (2022-23), Monumental Wonders exhibition for SolidNature in Milan (2022). Bvlgari Fine Jewelry Show (2021), Brighton College (2020), BLOX / DAC in Copenhagen (2018), Rijnstraat 8 in The Hague (2017), and Lab City CentraleSupélec (2017). Other projects in her portfolio include Fondation Galeries Lafayette (2018) in Paris; Qatar National Library (2017); Amsterdam’s G-Star Raw Headquarters (2014); De Rotterdam, the largest building in the Netherlands (2013); CCTV Headquarters in Beijing (2012); New Court Rothschild Bank in London (2011); Maggie’s Centre in Glasgow (2011); Casa da Musica in Porto (2005) – winner of the 2007 RIBA Award; and the Dutch Embassy in Berlin (2003) – winner of the European Union Mies van der Rohe Award in 2005. Ellen is currently working on The Factory Manchester – a large performing arts venue for the city; the renovation of Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) Berlin – Europe’s biggest department store – and the design of Lamarr, a new department store in Vienna; and the Palais de Justice de Lille.

Iyad Alsaka

Iyad Alsaka joined OMA as a director in 2007 and became partner in 2011. Responsible for OMA’s work in the Middle East and Africa, Iyad has led projects including the acclaimed masterplan for Waterfront City in Dubai, the HIA Airport City masterplan in Doha, Concrete at Alserkal Avenue, a new public venue for Dubai’s cultural district, and the Qatar National Library in Doha. Iyad's current projects include The Prestige Mumbai, the Wafra Tower in Kuwait City, the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, and the Qatar Cultural and Sports Hub in Doha. Born in 1969 in Syria, Iyad holds a degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Aleppo.



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