Al Wakrah, Qatar
Private Engineering Office of the Emir of Qatar
Architect, Masterplanner, Research Principal
The Al Wakra Recovery and Respite Centre is a 160 bed mental health centre providing a full suite of sub-acute mental health services, forensic mental health care, drug and substance abuse care and outpatient services, alongside units for inpatient residents. MAAP’s competition winning scheme draws on evidence-based salutogenic design principles, a deep understanding of local Qatari cultural heritage and Islamic design principles.
Al Wakra Mental Health Facility
The patient is the focus of the service. Treatment spaces are designed as non-institutional, resort-like environments drawing on a typology of traditional Qatari spaces. ‘On-stage’ patient-facing areas are clearly separated from ‘off-stage’ support spaces. Courtyards and covered walkways create visual buffers between staff and patient spaces while providing both with veiled observation opportunities and liberating views of nature and sky.
Therapeutic gardens form a significant part of the design response. A wide range of garden types are incorporated, each serving a different need, from private terraces which extend each bedroom, to semi-private courtyards, and common courtyards in residential clusters. At a larger scale, gardens and terraces for therapy, activity and socialisation knit together to make meaningful and comprehensible spaces suited to recovery from severe mental illness.
International Design Competition