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Aerial view of Eid Prayer Ground 1952

Aeiral view
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The Eid Prayer Ground site was at the edge of the old
pre-oil town, occupying a position adjacent to the Burial
Ground and Al Koot Fort which was used as a prison for
those convicted in the open air court held beside it.
As the city developed the space was formalised with
an enclosing wall which can be seen in some of the
earliest aerial photographs of the city.
Mohamed Ali Abdullah explained that the original
structure was built for very pragmatic reasons, for
a minimum budget and was the simplest, plainest
enclosing wall possible.
It was agreed that something in the spirit of this would
be appropriate for the future, however it should also:
1. Accommodate the technical constraints required and
2. Be enhanced, to form an appropriate civic structure
for the heart of the city; a connection between Souk
Waqif and Musheireb, in terms of townscape and
architectural language.
1.3 MASTERPLAN CONTEXT
1 ARCHITECTURE
1.3.1 HISTORY - 1952
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View of late 20th Century prayer ground looking
North up Jassim Bin Mohammed Street.
Plan of late 20th Century Eid Prayer Ground (now demolished).
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The 1952 structure was later modified, its shape altered
and a small building added at its perimeter. Later still
the structure was demolished and the site excavated
to make way for a car park structure accommodation
the Eid Ground space above. At this point the direct
relationship between the prayer space and the earth
was severed by the introduction of a basement.
The 1980s structure was comprised of a level paved
surface accessed by stairs via portals on all four sides.
The ground levels dropped steeply along its edges
towards a low point in the south east. The under-croft
parking was accessed via an opening in the south
elevation.
The Qibla wall at this stage was orientated in line
with the street to the West, also adjoining the
Mohammed Bin Jassim house and seems to have
been defined by the alignment of its neighbour. The
street alignment and the house has been retained by
the masterplan however the contemporary calculation
of the Qibla direction requires a different orientation
for the prayer space from the historic alignment and
that followed by the recently demolished Eid Prayer
Ground structure.
1 ARCHITECTURE
1.3.2 HISTORY - 1980S
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Townscape and Heritage today - Jassim Bin Mohammed Street panorama
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Today many of the historic buildings north of Dhow
Roundabout on Jassim Bin Mohammed Street have
been re-constructed or refurbished, including the
Diwan buildings, the Clock Tower, stables buildings,
falconry souk, mosques and Al Koot Fort, creating
a unique urban townscape that to a large extent
defines the historic identity of central Doha. This is
the context for the new Qatar National Archive and
Eid Prayer Ground as part of Msheireb. To the south
of the Burial Ground the buildings take on a less
civic character including the entrance to Souk Waqif
and the new hotel and apartment buildings on the
Msheireb side.
The prayer ground presents a long, relatively low
frontage to the street and is the scale of an entire
urban block. It forms a backdrop for the picturesque
fort building when viewed from the souk and defines
the edge of the open space used as the souk car park.
Whilst it is visible from the brow of the hill to the
north the prayer ground will be most prominent when
seen from the south where the hillside drops and the
enclosing wall is at its greatest elevation.
1 ARCHITECTURE
1.3.3 TOWNSCAPE AND HERITAGE TODAY
Masterplan model laerial view ooking east
from Souk Waqif and Al Koot Fort to Msheireb
with the Eid Prayer Ground at the centre.
Masterplan model view looking southwest Masterplan view looking west
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