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Sherborne School, Qatar


28 June 2011

Press release contact:

Julia Davies
T: +44 (0)113 203 1490
E: julia.davies@riba.org

Sherborne Qatar Design Competition

Atkins Limited are announced today as the winners of the competition to design the new Sherborne Qatar School to be built in Doha, Qatar. The competition was organised on behalf of the Sherborne Qatar Board of Governors by RIBA Competitions.

Sherborne Qatar is a joint venture between Sherborne School in Dorset and General Trading Group Qatar represented by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Thani. Sherborne Qatar was founded in 2009 on a temporary site to the west of Doha and with the opening of the Senior School in September 2010 now caters for pupils from Reception through to Year 9. The vision is to establish a school that offers the very best of Sherborne’s ethos and education within the cultural framework of Qatar. The new school will provide a unique educational experience for Qatari children and the children of expatriates working in Qatar and neighbouring Gulf States. The new school will eventually cater for approximately 1500 pupils across the 4 to 18 age range and prepare them for entry to the major universities of the world. 

The competition sought to select an architect-led design team with whom Sherborne Qatar can work to successfully deliver their vision and aspirations for the new school. Atkins was selected from a short-list which also included (in alphabetical order): Arab Engineering Bureau; Avanti Architects; Farrow Partnership Architects Inc.; Hopkins Architects and Technital S.p.A. The six teams were invited to develop strategic design ideas and initial concepts which they presented to the Sherborne Qatar Board - together with the Board’s advisers, staff, pupils and parent representatives - at a final assessment held in Doha.

The Board felt that Atkins had demonstrated an excellent understanding of the School’s requirements and presented some interesting initial ideas of how the cultural identities of Sherborne Dorset and Sherborne Qatar might be expressed within the built form to represent their shared educational ethos. The Board also felt that the experienced Atkins team had the ability to successfully deliver the project in Doha.

Members of the Sherborne Qatar Board commented as follows:

'I would like to congratulate all the participants of the design competition for their effort and I am looking forward to working on this venture with the Atkins team. The inspiration behind Sherborne Qatar falls in line with His Highness Sheikh Hamad the Emir and Her Highness Sheikha Moza’s vision of pursuing excellence in education and we aim to implement their vision and continue on a path of academic excellence.'
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Thani (Chair, Sherborne Qatar Board)

'I congratulate Atkins for winning the RIBA Design Competition. They captured and understood the ethos of Sherborne Dorset and pragmatically applied that to their design for a signature building for Sherborne Qatar. We look forward to working with them.' Prof. Richard Hodder-Williams (Chair of Governors, Sherborne UK)

On learning that they had won the competition, Martin Pease (Atkins, Head of Architecture UK) commented: 'We are delighted that our approach, which was to create a unique place borne out of the memory of Sherborne in Dorset, was the one selected by the Sherborne Qatar Judging Panel. Our design seeks to create a school with a shared identity, not restricted by the past, but rather ready to absorb and evolve its own future in Doha. This success is testament to the hard work and collaboration between our UK and Middle East offices, and demonstrates Atkins truly global expertise.'

Notes to editors

Please ensure RIBA Competitions is credited when mentioning the above competition. RIBA Competitions offers a tailored competition management service delivering excellence in design. 


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