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Aedas walks away from Heart of Doha project

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Global giants Aedas has quit a £3.5 billion masterplan to rebuild of Qatar’s capital city, Doha

The practice has blamed ‘commercial reasons’ for its decision to walk away from the Heart of Doha project - a huge 35ha scheme which is also being worked on by Allies and Morrison, Arup, AECOM and Michel Mossessian.

According to a statement released by Aedas, the company had issued a notice of termination of its contract with client Dohaland and ‘would soon be withdrawing from the scheme’.

Aedas’ chief executive David Roberts said: ‘It is with considerable regret that we have felt obliged for commercial reasons to cease our involvement in this project.’

A spokesman for Aedas said there was ‘absolutely no foundation’ in rumours that the move could be linked with a possible takeover by masterplanner AECOM, which is known to be looking to acquire an architectural practice.

He said: ‘As the world’s largest independent practice, Aedas is committed to it’s current ownership and is planning continued expansion on that basis.’

Aedas was ranked 5th in this year’s AJ100 league table of the country’s largest practices.

Previous story (AJ 26.05.09)

First look: ‘Heart of Doha’ masterplan

The first phase of the ‘Heart of Doha’, a £3.5bn masterplan to rebuild 35ha of Qatar’s capital city, is being developed by Allies and Morrison with Arup and Edaw

The mixed-use development will feature 226 buildings in total, ranging from three to 30 storeys, including a national archive, theatre and museum, hotels and heritage quarter. It will be located adjacent to the Emiri Diwan, Qatar’s seat of government and ruler’s palace and the newly developed Souk Waqif.

The project has a projected population of 27,637 and the entire scheme is estimated to be complete by 2016.

Allies & Morrison will be developing the masterplan for the first phase of the project, in partnership with Arup and Edaw.

Dohaland was inaugurated on 3 March and the Heart of Doha project is the firm’s first real estate project.

“Through our first project, we are recreating and regenerating the most important part of old Doha – such as Kahraba Street – the place from where the rest the city took birth. Also in this area is Abdulla Bin Thani Street, Musherib Street and the first Eid ground in Doha,’ said Issa al-Mohannadi, CEO of Dohaland. ‘With passing time, the area lost a lot of its rich community to migration out into other regions, leaving much of the historic neighbourhood neglected. Today, we aim to restore the lost lustre to a location that is close to our hearts, we want to bring it back to life.’

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