28) Contemporary Architecture (Basics)

The course discovers the fundamentals of architecture using the contemporary architecture in Qatar Foundation as a case study. Participants will experience hands-on activities exploring each topic which include: understanding one-self, components within a city, shapes and forms, structure, facades and patterns and materials and colors. The skills obtained from this course is the ability to critically think and a sense of self-awareness within a larger community.

Class Outline

0. WHO AM I?
“Human identity presupposes the identity of a place.”  - Norberg-Schulz
The section is to have students understand who they are in relation to their spatial experience in order to orientate oneself in one’s surroundings. It gives them various perspectives from micro to the macro scale of where they fit in a space. Students will also be reminded how the physical senses (or the lack of thereof) affect their experiences of a city.

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”  - Winston Churchill
The section is to introduce Education City (as a flagship of Qatar Foundation) along with the different components that make up the city such as educational buildings, social spaces, transportation, sports centers, and public arts. Students will be introduced to key architectural buildings in a linear timeline to show the progression of styles and aesthetics. 

Architecture is the learned game; correct and magnificent of forms assembled in the light. – Le Corbusier
The section is to show the combinations of shapes that make up a building. With different shapes and forms, students will also understand the component of light which affects the presence of the users by drawing attention to details such as textures, colors, and forms of space.

Whatever good things we build end up building us. – Jim Rohn
The section is to analyze the different elements that combined into a structure that allows a building to stand on its own. Students will also be able to experiment with different types of solutions to withstand factors such as air resistance, weight and environmental factors such as earthquakes and floods.

The door handle is the handshake of the building. – Juhani Pallasma
The section is to understand the role of the exterior of a building and how it sets the overall impression of the building. The facade defines the unique architectural aesthetics of the building while defending against environmental and physical exposure. Students will also understand the role of the facade as a filter that affects the experience of the interior.

God is in the details. – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
The section is to understand the impact of material selections of the buildings. Students will familiarise themselves with basic materials that make up most of the buildings. By understanding the different attributes of materials, students can understand why certain materials are used for specific purposes.


Please note: VCUQatar reserves the right to cancel classes for which not enough participants are registered. Already paid fees will be refunded.

Please do not purchase materials until VCUQatar has sent final course confirmation.

Items to buy for this class

On occasions, there may be some more materials to be bought and brought in if and when advised by the instructor.

Where to buy your materials

Most of the materials are available from any art supply shop, for example:

  • Cass Art (Fire station): Community Classes students get a 15% discount upon presenting the registration ticket
  • Jarir Bookstore: on Rayyan Road or Salwa Road
  • Color Note: on Al Nasser Street
  • Ibn Al Qayyim: at Markhiya Roundabout
  • Al Rawnaq

Register & Pay »

Terms & Conditions apply

Participants must buy their own materials

Sun, 10 Nov, 2019
Tue, 26 Nov, 2019
Sundays & Tuesdays
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
QAR 800


Marsya Abdulghani

Marsya is an interdisciplinary artist and designer who is currently pursuing her MA in Library and Information Science at UCLQatar. Her current area of interest is spatial analytics and location intelligence which derives insights of trends and phenomenons to create particular solutions for her masters. She received her BFA in Interior Design with a  minor in Art History from VCUarts Qatar. As her capstone project, she dwelled on the notion of a museum space as an active space of collaboration and freedom of expression while integrating vernacular architecture as part of the solution.

Her latest contribution to a project called Making Doha: 1930 - 2030 was inaugurated during the opening of the National Museum of Qatar collaborating with OMA/AMO, Qatar Museums and Atlas Bookstore. She had also lead exhibition projects with Msheireb Museums that integrates content from the past and the application of the future such as Augmented Reality and modular exhibition systems. Overall, she desires to create sustainable solutions catering to the needs of the users through understanding the philosophy behind each challenge.

In her free time, she loves exploring many places in Qatar and documents various hidden gems that are mostly fleeting due to the constant change of the country's fast development.