In 2003, the Government of Qatar, through the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Heritage, is in the process of transforming the Doha Corniche into an international arts and culture centre for the Gulf region. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) is assisting the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Heritage in this endeavour.
The Corniche is composed of a narrow pedestrian strip, extending 7.5km along Doha Bay from the Sheraton Hotel at the north end to the Marriot Hotel at the south, past Dhow harbour and the Doha Port facilities. A belt of prestigious administrative, cultural and commercial facilities and parks line the Al Corniche Road, a dual carriageway running parallel to the pedestrian strip. The regeneration process is intended to enhance the quality of urban living along the Corniche and to provide an international culture and arts identity through innovative, culturally appropriate and environmentally sensitive urban planning and landscaping, highlighted by selected landmark projects of international significance.
The process was a competition involving six architects of international renown who were invited to respond to the detailed brief. The architects were:
Patrick Berger Zaha Hadid Kamel Louafi Jean Nouvel D. Paysage Architects Martha Schwartz Inc.