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.
The building was conceived as part of the long term plan by the Qatar Government to provide a complex of new cultural and governmental buildings. They form part of a larger master plan to develop the corniche as a complex of buildings, shops, restaurants, galleries, walkways and other attractions.
Being the first buildings of the master plan, the design is an attempt to to develop a language of forms which could be used as a basis for unifying the design of future buildings on the corniche. The arcaded walkways defining the ornamental gardens linking the buildings. The simple arches and plain walls finished in a single material were conceived as unifying elements.
The design is two buildings; one containing offices, the other a theatre, connected by a large, rectangular, arcaded, landscaped courtyard.