Doha, the most populated city in the Qatar, grew out of, and now contains the Al Bidda neighborhood in the east. Mentions of Al Bidda date back to the 17th century, but it rose to prominence in the 19th century. Doha was officially established in 1820. It became the capital city in 1971 when Qatar became independent.
It quickly became one of the main financial centers of the region. In 1996 the Al Jazeera satellite networks were established in Doha. A year later Education City was established by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development. With an area of 14 square kilometers, the area houses educational facilities the serve students from school age through graduate school. Virginia Commonwelth University was the first of 8-10 foreign universities to establish branch campuses in Education City. It also houses a number of Qatari schools and research institutions.
Located on the outskirts of Doha, Education City is an initiative of the Qatar Foundation that provides educational facilities from school age to research level and includes branch campuses of some of the world's leading universities in buildings designed by some of the world's most renowned architects (OMA, HOK, Isozaki). The master plan was designed by Isozaki as a piecemeal aggregation of various developments along a unifying infrastructural axis. The planning and design of the buildings and public spaces demonstrates a concern for the integration of tradition and technology, while meeting the functional needs of a state-of-the-art campus.