Thursday, May 7, 2009

Doha: CMU at Qatar

(See my previous entry on the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) here.)

My visit to Doha was made possible by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) at Qatar. CMU-Q is located in a 14 sq km campus (named Education City) on the western edge of the city. Education City is a massive initiative housing multiple institutions and is the flagship project of the Qatar Foundation.

A bit like with the MIA, CMU has just recently moved into a building that looks somewhat quiet and fools the eye, appearing deceptively small from the outside, but is impressively large and opulent from the inside.

To illustrate this point, here is the entrance.

Behind that dark glass is the atrium, here is a 360° spherical panorama of what it looks likes on the other side:

(Use Apple's free QuickTime Player to view the special image, which can be zoomed and rotated 360° in all directions. Click on the link to see the panorama.)

(Notice how the atrium is lit from above by the Arabian sun. Also, I took this during setup for Meeting of the Minds, an end of semester student poster event: hence, the easels and tables for food. You may also be able to pick out the location of the next panorama.)

The next spherical panorama shows another open area to one side of the atrium.

(Unfortunately, there are only regular chairs in this picture. When I first arrived, there were wonderfully large red cushions in the seating area with students sitting around chatting and using their laptops. I missed that photo op.)

Next panorama, something at the other end of the size scale: the small but rather classy looking library:


(I like the way the library has floor-to-ceiling glass affording a view of the outside courtyard but always shielded from the blast furnace of a hot sun that I'm told can reach 55°C in summer. The only direct sun exposure here is filtered through the geometric openings on the far wall.)

Finally, here is the entrance to the building again (rumor has it the cost was $500 million to $600 million): If you click on the picture, you may be able to see water running continously down that center channel.


  1. Additional pics of the building can be seen at

  2. Sandiway, I enjoyed these spherical panorama pictures very much. So fun! They completely opened my eyes. WOW!!! Thank you!