Valued at QR 2,222 million ($610 million), the 33-month design and build contract represents one of the biggest building contracts ever placed in the state. Qatar Petroleum (QP) is handling the Education City project on behalf of the client, the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science & Community Development (MEED 14:4:06).

Baytur entered the race to build the convention centre in March, after being invited to submit a bid along with the two original bidders, Austria’s Strabag and Belgium’s Six Construct. In addition to carrying out the design and build work, the contractor will undertake fit-out. The main feature of the building, the sidra tree on its front façade, will be carried out by Belgium’s Victor Buyck Steel Construction under a nominated subcontract placed by QP last year.

The convention centre, which will have six storeys plus a basement, will be about 250 metres long and 110 metres wide. Of the total construction area of 150,000 square metres, some 60,000 square metres will be made of reinforced concrete and 90,000 square metres from structural steel.

The centre will house a 2,500-seat auditorium, a 500-seat theatre, and a 4,000 seat multi-purpose hall. In addition, it will have break-out rooms and smaller meeting rooms. The centre will host exhibitions, conferences and music and art festivals.

The centre’s conceptual designs were prepared by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. Three firms are competing to act as Baytur’s design consultant: the successful bidder will carry out detailed designs.

The project manager on Education City is the local office of KEO International Consultants.

The convention centre is Baytur’s third major contract award in Doha. It is close to completing the main package on the Museum of Islamic Arts project on the corniche. It was also the main contractor on the Qatar National Library scheme, until the project was cancelled in February (MEED 17:2:06).

www.meed.com/construction